The Rainbow Shirts

They are at it again.

The Rainbow Shirts (so named by me because they act like the The Brown Shirts of old) with fear, intimidation, and government threats. Plus, they get help from the weak-kneaded ,wanna-be-seen-to-be Politically Correct enablers (Disney, Marvel, The NFL).

Georgia wanted to pass an RFRA (Religious Freedom Restortation Act) but the Rainbow Shirts and their PC Allies took offense to it, naturally. After all, it had to be bigoted and targeted at THEM. Isn’t everything, when you’re power mad and have so much sanctimony that you could plug up a black hole with it.

H.B. 757, known as the Pastor Protection Act, gives faith-based organizations the right to fire people who violate the group’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.” It also gives faith-based organizations—many of whom enjoy tax-exempt status—the right to refuse to rent facilities for events they find “objectionable” and gives clergy the right to refuse to perform same-sex weddings.

Wow! They want to actually practice there religious beliefs in America!!!

Man what haters!!!  They must be stopped! 🙂

It’s a ” sweeping anti-LGBTQ law” after all, proposed by pure, unadulterated KKK-style  bigotry. It can’t be anything else. The Ideology says it can’t be. So it isn’t End of Story.

Imagine that, Christians who want to be Christians in a  Christian Faith Based Organization and/or in a Christian Churches!!!!

THE HORROR!

Wow! That’s really hateful. The KKK will be meeting there next.

I guess there are no other places for these events in the Whole of Georgia except at Churches.

And private businesses that practice The Christian Faith are the only place these want to be employed at.

Amazing coincidences, don’t you think? 🙂

And, of course, the neighbors are all a TWITTER about the Gay Couple that move in next door and ruined their property values! 🙂

So Government hasn’t kissed their ass in the last nano-second or two they MUST BE being discriminated against so THEY MUST crush someone for it.

It’s all Hate, all the the time. They are Warriors of Their Faith and they must crush you before you have a chance to defy them!

I wonder if that applies to Pizza places in Georgia too? 🙂

I guess they will have move on to the Mosques next. They are places of Religious Worship and Faith based “exclusion”, Just like a Church.

Oh right, Muslims kill Homosexuals in the Middle East for even daring to say anything at all. No hate there, that would be Islamophobia…So it’s Politically Incorrect to go after THAT group.

After all, they just blow people up and the same Leftist bow and scrap and kiss their ass, “thank you, sir, may we have another”.

Ideology is all-consuming. Ideology is Reality.

Common Sense, and “tolerance” need not apply. But “tolerance” and “diversity (with “inclusion”) are required when kissing the ass of a Liberal, you racist, bigoted, islamophobic, white privilege, dirt bag!

Bow down before your Masters, and their Rainbow Shirts.

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

My LIBERAL First Amendment that I wrote years ago: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Any religion,and mocking the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE speech, or of the LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble to worship the LIBERAL PROGRESSIVES, any assembly in opposition must therefore be “terrorism” or “racism”, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances against Corporations and anyone opposed to the Politically Correct and to seek “social justice”  and “fairness” at all costs.

 

20 Quotes

20) “The shrill little twerps shrieking ‘You can’t say that!’ are a far bigger problem than the stuff they object to.” — Mark Steyn

19) “The biggest thing leaders don’t do now is listen. They no longer hear the voices of common people. Or they imitate what they think it is and it sounds backward and embarrassing. In this age we will see political leaders, and institutions, rock, shatter and fall due to that deafness.” — Peggy Noonan

18) “President Obama is a wartime president who doesn’t seem to realize it.” — Tom Cotton

17) “Republican leaders believe the goal of the Republican Party is to gain and maintain power; conservatives believe the goal of the Republican Party is to represent conservative interests, no matter what comes. The Republican Party has become an excellent vehicle for the former goal, and a smoking garbage heap when it comes to the latter.” — Ben Shapiro

16) “Many Americans who say that we should learn from other people, especially Europeans, mean that we should imitate what they did. That may make those who talk this way feel superior to other Americans. But let us never forget that the most disastrous ideologies of the 20th century — Communism, Fascism and Nazism — all originated in Europe. So did both World Wars.” — Thomas Sowell

15) “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.” — Jim Treacher

14) “If angry political rhetoric bred violence, America would look something like Syria – awash in genocidal conflict. For sheer viciousness the robust debates between politicians and activists often pale in comparison to the “flame wars” on Twitter and Facebook, where arguments quickly become deeply personal. America’s political culture is thoughtful in parts, but it’s also a shouting culture, and anyone who’s looking for angry or extremist rhetoric can find it. It’s everywhere.” — David French

13) “This is why, for example, I basically disengage from anyone who uses the phrase ‘white privilege’ or the term ‘patriarchy’. There is a possible world in which these might be useful terms of discussion, but if that were ever our universe it has long since ceased to be. Now what they mean is ‘I am about to attempt to bully you into submission using kafkatraps and your own sense of decency as a club.’” — Eric Raymond

12) “The left is always dabbling in fictional dystopias where there is a yawning chasm between rich and poor, where the country is riven by racial conflict, and where the whole nation has to be impoverished to serve the power and vanity of the Capitol—and yet somehow this is the system they always create when they’re in power, in places like Baltimore and Chicago.” — Robert Tracinski

11) “Conservatives say ‘you can be somebody.’ Liberals say ‘you should hate somebody.’ The latter mentality is exactly what we’ve seen play out in Ferguson and Baltimore.” — Carl Jackson

10) “Years ago Marvin Olasky wrote how compassion traditionally meant to ‘suffer with.’ Over the years it turned into writing a check. Now it means making other people write checks.” — Doug Bandow

9) “Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so! …If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance!” – Donald Trump

8) “There’s a revealing tendency in most liberal and left-wing histories of the United States of America. When something bad happens, there tend to be only two possible villains: conservatives or America itself (or a combination of the two). During the McCarthy period, evil conservatives whipped up paranoia and fear. But the Red Scare of 1919, overseen by Woodrow Wilson’s progressive attorney general, A. Mitchell Palmer, was a blot on America’s soul. When FDR interned Japanese-Americans, it was an example of America’s sins. When FDR’s party ruthlessly enforced Jim Crow in this country, racism was a stain on America. After the Democrats lost the South, and the South in turn became less racist, the stain was moved to the Republican Party. Liberalism is never to blame.” — Jonah Goldberg

7) “How did all these illegal aliens get into ‘the shadows’ in the first place? They weren’t kidnapped and dragged across the border. They came here. At most — and this is dubious — it’s a crisis for the illegal immigrants. But ‘living in the shadows’ is evidently better than living in Guadalajara, otherwise, there’s an easy solution. Living in the shadows doesn’t seem to be much of a crisis even for them.” — Ann Coulter

6) “The gentlemen who wrote the Constitution did not get around to enfranchising women or abolishing slavery, but they snuck in a constitutional right to gay marriage that we’ve somehow overlooked for 228 years or so: No mentally functional adult, regardless of his views on gay marriage, should be expected to pretend that that is true.” — Kevin Williamson

5) “Taken literally, Islamophobia means ‘fear of Islam.’ OK, well, there are many Muslims who have gone to great lengths to convince us to fear it. So what if I finally oblige them?” — Matt Walsh

4) “The questions asked in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match. And you look at the questions—Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues? And Carl, I’m not finished yet. The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every thought and question from the media was, which of you is more handsome and why?” – Ted Cruz had the best moment in any debate so far when he slammed the moderators

3) “Deciding who is eligible to complain about microaggressions is itself an act by which the majority imposes its will, and it is felt as alienating by the minorities who are effectively told that they don’t have the same right to ask for decent treatment as other groups.” — Megan McArdle

2) “If gun free zones save lives, why doesn’t Obama just declare Iraq, Syria & Afghanistan one big gun free zone?” — Wayne LaPierre

1) “We are not a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of citizens.” – Mark Levin

Happy White Privilege Everyone! 🙂

Now the irony Quote (From Politico)

Among the “legacies” Obama will be traveling on Air Force One to every corner of the globe to promote will be “progress against the Islamic State and significant global movement on climate change.”

Obama has asked aides to set a busy international travel schedule for him in his final year, with “half a dozen” trips already in the works and more potentially coming together. The travel will be aimed at cementing a foreign policy legacy he hopes will include the Trans-Pacific Partnership, increased attention to Asia, an opening of Latin America, progress against the Islamic State and significant global movement on climate change.

The only continents the White House is ruling out as presidential destinations are Australia and Antarctica

Why does he not hate Australia? 🙂
He’s going to go around the world and tell them how great he is, and they’ll be just as glad he’s come and gone as we will be in January 2017.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

 

The Best and Worst of 2015

Derek Hunter: As far as years go, 2015 certainly was one of them. The news was not wanting for content, and we columnists were not wanting for material. It was a year of tragedies and triumphs bookended by terrorist attacks in Paris. A reality TV star became the leading candidate of a major political party, “Star Wars” returned, and I got married. Yep, 2015 was quite a year.

I had a health scare that resulted in a pacemaker and a different view on mortality just months after my Dad died.

Not the best of times by far.

Politics:

The Best

Donald Trump. For all his problems, and they are legion, and the bluster, and it is constant, he’s done more than anyone in recent years to get people to pay attention to politics and just how corrupt the media and the Democrats have become. He’s been battering the media since the start, slamming his opponents since and changing how politics is done.

While, I’m still not a full on Trump guy I do like that he makes the Left and the RINOs crazy and just doesn’t give a damn. That really shakes them up.

Trump has been holding a clinic on how to run against Democrats and the media since his announcement. Aside from momentary flashes, none of the rest of the field appears to have learned a thing.

Because they are all stuck in their ways. They can’t see doing it any other way. Especially, Democrats, they have one playbook and they go to it every nanosecond of every day.

Expect all out nuclear war again on the Republicans. No atom will be lest un-nuked, no ethic or moral will not be cr0ssed in the quest for the Coronation of King Barack’s successor Queen Hillary.

The Republican RINOs are just plain lost.

If Trump is the nominee, Democrats may well win, but they will have been so battered and bruised they’d be hard-pressed to govern with any effectiveness. If he isn’t the nominee, whoever is will have learned how to be locked in a box with a rabid spider monkey and survive. The eventual nominee, whoever it ends up being, will be a much more devastating candidate thanks to Trump’s entry into the race.

The Media is still setting up the Coronation of Queen Hillary I like they have for 4 years now. I doubt they are going to change.

But maybe, just maybe, the sleeping stupid will recognize it for what it is.

That,and just maybe, the Republicans will actually run a campaign to WIN this time. Maybe.

 

The Worst

As awful as she is, Hillary Clinton is not the worst person on the national political stage. Until he leaves office, Barack Obama’s head wears the crown.

In a post-9/11, post-Paris, post-San Bernardino world, the president of the United States managed to go 12 months in which he used the words “radical Islamic terrorism” only to chastise others for saying them.

Well, you’re talking about his friends and mentors, the Muslims. They can’t be evil. That’s like Lule finding out Darth Vader is his Father…. 🙂

The economy continues to falter, our enemies are on the march, and the president has improved his short-game. The Obama presidency is a hilarious joke, but sadly it’s not the funny kind of joke.

But the Democrats continue to self-delude themselves that everything is awesome and we just need to get rid of those naybobs negativity.

One more year…

11 Months+ a few days. Don’t make it any longer than it has to be. Though if Queen Hillary wins we’re all doomed and you might as well close up shop and move to Fiji because it’s over.

Lie Of The Year

The “winner” of this category is obvious, which is why it hasn’t won any of these “awards” from the mainstream media: Hillary Clinton’s ever-evolving claims about classified material on her secret, unsecured email server.

Though I think her saying that the Benghazi families who have been ripping her for years about her You Tube cause of the incident are now lying because she never said it was pretty close.

“What Difference Does it Make?”

Her original statement at her press conference at the UN, was, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.” High-stakes divorce settlements are less carefully worded.

Note how she specifically said she didn’t send any classified material, and how there “is” nothing classified on her server. She’d wiped it by then, though not thoroughly, so, in using present tense, she was telling her version of the truth.

After that original statement, Hillary’s story “evolved” at least two more times to she never “sent or received anything marked classified at the time.”

After that lie the media lost interest. Why wouldn’t they? Their candidate is ensnared in an FBI investigation that, were it anyone else, already would have led to an indictment and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees by now.

But we aren’t named Clinton; we haven’t been selling, or at least renting, our positions for sums of money that rival the worth of third-world economies, and a president of her party still controls the prosecutors.

No, we’re civilians, bound by truth, and she’s Hillary, utterly unburdened by such trivialities.

As we wind up 2015, I think we’ve dwelled enough on politics. So a few notes on a couple of other things.

Sports

The year started with a great Super Bowl. What a game! But it will be remembered as the game that gave us Deflategate. Tom Brady won – everything. He continues to live a charmed life, and good for him. Unless you bet against him.

And the Seahawks created a blunder for the ages that will be talked about until Liberals outlaw football altogether sometime later in the Century.

 

The Super Bowl was the highlight of the year for New England sports fans, but the rest of the world had to suffer until the World Series. After decades of miserable losing, New England (particularly in Boston) started winning. And their fans, both in baseball and football, became even more miserable to be around during a game. And I say that as someone with many friends who fit this description.

But the highlight of the year was the World Series.

The Kansas City Royals are a lot of fun to watch. They scrap and scrape together runs in a way no other team does.

Arizona Cardinals anyone? Anyone?? 🙂

Movies

I love “Star Wars,” saw it three times the weekend it opened. But it doesn’t win for movie of the year with me. There were a lot of great “art house” movies, and I’m sure one with $48 in box office receipts will win the Oscar. But “The Martian” was the most enjoyable movie of 2015. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor. Even if you don’t care for Matt Damon (and I wouldn’t blame you), you’ll enjoy this movie.

I love “Star Wars” but I still think either Jurassic World or Avengers 2. I never saw “The Martian”.

Television

“The Walking Dead” remains TV’s best drama.

DOCTOR WHO! 🙂

The zombie aspect might turn your off, but it’s much more than that. Moreover, it’s a show that generates true suspense, in which no one knows what’s going to happen from week to week and no character, no matter who they are, is safe.

DOCTOR WHO! 🙂

If you’re a comic book nerd, or if you don’t mind super hero movies, might I also suggest checking out “Jessica Jones” on Netflix. It’s a surprisingly good series with humor, action and a great anti-hero. And, unlike “The Walking Dead,” you can binge-watch it over a weekend.

Haven’t got around to it yet. And that shows you how technology has changed so much.

I’m not sad to see 2015 go, though it does seem like it went fast. With 2016 being an election year, it will fly by as well. While I work and play in the first half of this column, life happens in the rest. Hope you had a great 2015, and I hope you have as much fun as possible in 2016. 

Here’s to 2016. The Hope of the future of our Country rests on your shoulders.

No pressure. 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon
Star Wars Matters
Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

The Post-Boehner War Begins NOW!

Conservatives 1 RINOs 0.

But it’s only the end of the first inning of a very long game.

“John’s not going to leave for another 30 days, so hopefully he feels like getting as much stuff done as he possibly can,” Mr. Obama said during a news conference with the Chinese president on Friday.

Cram it in now while we have the chance. Sounds familiar somehow?

After all, Conservatives are “extremists” and unwilling to compromise.  🙂 Hmmm, sound like Obama and the Democrats.

The unmovable object meets the irresistible force.

So we better pass everything before that happens, potentially, Obama is thinking.

It’s not like if another RINO gets in as Speaker the same voices will just go away.

But remember, we, the Conservatives, are the “extremists”.

Celebrate the retirement of John Boehner, and it is worth celebrating. But it doesn’t mark a victory for conservatism or the end of any battle. At best, it’s the beginning.

Well, he’s gone. More correctly, he’s going.

Speaker of the House John Boehner announced Friday that he’s resigning effective Oct. 30. My reaction, similar to that of most conservatives, was a resounding “good!”

And it is good, even though we’re unlikely to get the truly new blood we need in this position.

Barring some miracle, the next speaker of the House will be someone who has spent a lot of time in Washington, D.C. And you don’t spend a lot of time in Washington and possibly be elected speaker without having ingratiating yourself to a lot of people. And the only currency for ingratiation in politics is money.

Not always our money. Sometimes it’s campaign money. But for members of Congress to be a draw at fundraisers, they have to have some sway over how our tax money is dispensed. No one is going to give $2,000 to get a grip-n-grin picture with a backbench congressman with no power or influence. Juice gets the green.

So who will be the next speaker of the House? I don’t know. But there’s a saying about the devil you don’t know, and I fear we may end up with a person like that.

Boehner was awful at times, unwilling to fight the fights that mattered when they mattered and not having a strategy to at least put Democrats, particularly the president, in awkward positions. But his problems may not end up being unique to him. Considering he still has support from many Republicans – perhaps even a majority of the caucus – finding an acceptable person to replace him could be harder than people think.

The establishment appears to be coalescing around current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. He has some appeal to conservatives too, especially when measured against Boehner. But he will not be a savior.

He’s in leadership, which means he’s had every opportunity to strategize with the speaker to take the House in the right direction. It hasn’t happened. There’s little reason to believe much will change should he be the man in charge. It could, but nothing that happened in his current position would lead anyone to be convinced of that.

So who else is there? Lots of qualified conservatives could do the job. Whether they want it is a different story.

There’s no point in listing names – the list of people you’d like to see consider a run is as unique to you as your fingerprints. And I understand the belief that “there’s nowhere to go but up” when it comes to leadership in the House. But just because it seems like that doesn’t make it so.

If conservatives fracture, if they fail to unite behind one candidate and show a united front, we could end up with the devil we don’t know.

And ithink   that likely since the Establishment will want a RINO and the Conservative will want, well, a Conservative and the two are hard to meld together in these very partisan days.

There are egos amongst conservatives. There are friendships. There is loyalty between members. In short, just like the rest of Washington, it’s high school with paychecks.

The Nerds just dethroned the Class President. All his clique minions are buzzing with annoyance.

To elect a conservative speaker, or even a more conservative speaker, it’s going to require unity. That’s the one thing conservatives aren’t good at.

They don’t do groupthink like The Democrats do.

Several conservatives are flirting with a run. If they can’t coalesce around one, we’ll have another Speaker Squish.

And I still think that’s where we are headed.

Celebrate the retirement of John Boehner, and it is worth celebrating. But it doesn’t mark a victory for conservatism or the end of any battle. At best, it’s the beginning.

Conservatives have determination. They have the fight in them. But whether they have the ability to manage their way to success remains to be seen. A victory is great, but it’s just a victory. The fight isn’t over; it will never end.

The WAR begins now.

Eat, drink and be merry. Just remember that Boehner’s resignation, while significant, is a starting line, not a finish line. Without a united march forward, conservatives may win the first inning but lose the game. (Derek Hunter)

 AMEN!

The No Weenie Congress

Hey GOP establishment, how about, for once, you cause your opponents pain instead your allies? You’ve managed to win back both houses of Congress – by which I mean we conservatives won them back for you – and since then you’ve accomplished exactly nothing. President Fail is handing the mullahs the Bomb, Obamacare remains a thing, and Planned Parenthood is still dismembering babies on our dime. The president has a bully pulpit and you’re satisfied with the legislative branch being a weenie pulpit.

Or being the nerd who gets the wedgie on the playground and then says, “Thank you, Mr President, may I have another!”

But the creaky Boehner and McConnell machine can choose to succeed at something other than failure. It can use the Congress to deal some pain to the left. Sure, that will require guts and a commitment to the conservative cause, but maybe the rise of Donald Trump has scared these squishes enough to fake having them.

Naw, I think they are too committed to be Squishy RINOs afraid of their own political shadows. They talk tough, sometimes, but no action.

Here is some potential legislation that might do some good if enacted, but more importantly, will put the Democrats in both houses in unpleasant, painful positions going into an election year. Yeah, I know, the filibuster…blah blah blah. How about we opt to nuke it before The Lightbringer’s new buddies in Tehran decide to nuke Tel Aviv – and before the grassroots of your party decides to nuke you a year from November?

Amen!

Here’s some Climate Change for ya! Courtesy of our Obama Allies.

1. The Second Amendment Protection Act. For years, Democrats in state and local governments have infringed upon the civil rights of Americans by unjustly preventing them from exercising their right to keep and bear arms throughout our great nation as God intended. Anti-gun laws in cryptofascist states and localities have unfairly victimized far too many decent Americans.

liberal logic

You don’t stop being an American protected by the Bill of Rights simply because you set foot into the State of New York. That’s why we need a law that will allow all American citizens the right to exercise their Second Amendment freedom to keep and bear arms, concealed or openly as each citizen chooses, free of the constraints imposed by gunophobic state and local governments. Yeah, there will be some whining about federalism from the Republican bow tie n’ perpetual virginity crowd, but who cares?

11949444_1199612576732062_2830812775091856937_n

2. The National Voter ID and Election Integrity Act. Why can’t the federal government generate a national voting ID card and distribute it free to Americans who can’t manage to find their local DMV? The law, of course, will also require a photo ID for any federal election voter. A huge majority of Americans recognize that asking for ID is no infringement except upon those who want to commit fraud, or who are frankly too damn stupid to be voting anyway.

Ge ready for the all-out nuclear tactic of “racism” though. You have to have ID to do the most mundane things in life, but if you ask an illegal for an ID or any Liberal to vote, it’s “racism!”.

Get over it.

3. The Liberal Donor Class Windfall Profits Tax. It’s time that Democrats’ favored interest groups paid their fair share! After all, those tech guys in Silicon Valley didn’t build that. They got the benefit of California’s fine infrastructure, outstanding schools, and superb business environment [*Struggles to not giggle hysterically*]. How about a 50% tax on their earnings?

Or maybe we could take Hollywood Liberal Actors, especially the one who make millions per picture. Now there’s a healthy tax. 🙂

The same with Hollywood – it’s time for the people who support Obama with lavish fundraisers to raise some funds for working American families! Spielberg, Streisand, all you Kardashians – 50% of your earnings is a small price to pay for social justice!

I agree. 🙂 Put YOUR money where your Liberal mouth is!

Oh, and any income from lobbying after serving in any governmental position? Yep, taxed 50%. Or may 90%. For America.

How about we just ban them all together. Call the Inside The Beltway Inside Trader Ban Act.

Go work at McDonalds for $15/hr like you advocate.

4. The Use the Taxes on Drivers for Drivers Act. You know that gas tax you pay every time you fill up the tank? Much of it is passed out to leftist constituencies to pay for buses, subways and bike lanes.  (or in Phoenix- Light rail boondoggles) How about a law that forces gas taxes to be used solely for improving roads? No more subsidies to underwrite Democrat inner city bus systems and light rail boondoggles. 🙂 No more pleasing rich liberals in dorky cycling shorts by forcing us normal people to pay for their stupid bike lanes.

We promise if you tax yourself into the poor house we may just built that city park for the children…

5. The College Student Civil Rights Act. Let’s make it easy to sue your university. Academia is a festering pustule on our society, and it’s time to lance the boil and drain the progressivism!

That’s one BIG swampy Tar Pit of Liberalism that is so overgrown is there anything else left that it hasn’t sucked down it maw?

We’ve all seen how young men are victimized by froth-mouthed feminists eager to convict them of the crime of existing while male.

Down with heteropatriarchy! White Privilege BS!

We’ve also seen how goose-stepping administrators and commie professors seek to control the free-speech of these young Americans.

You too can have an American Flag on campus!

It’s time to protect our studentsrights by applying expanded federal civil rights protections to the students of any university that takes even a penny of government funds. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to due process – now, who could ever be against those [*snickers deviously*]? And if the student wins, he gets his attorneys fees!

🙂

There are many possible new laws that would be both great public policy and annoy our opponents. GOP congresslosers just need to locate the fortitude to pass them. Sure, Obama will veto them, but it’ll force his few remaining minions on Capitol Hill to take stands their constituents will hate.

But it requires The RINOs to grow a pair, of horns to blow and to stick to the Left. Be prepared to be called “extremists” by the extremists, “racists” by the liberal race-baiting squads, and “homophobic bigots” but the liberal “tolerance” and “diversity” Ministry of Truth.

They are going to do it anyhow, so you might as well do something with it that is more than “Thank you, Mr. President. Can I have another!”

The GOP establishment hacks will resist because they think they’ve gone to D.C. to govern. Well, we don’t want or need governing. We want and need the destruction of the liberal edifice Barack Obama and his cronies have built.

Govern later. Right now, we need to sack the Liberal Rome. Visigoths Unite!

We need to use every bit of power at our disposal against our opponents. No, it’s not as much fun as guzzling free Dewar’s on the tab of some K Street lobbyist, but too bad. GOP establishment, get off your sorry rears and get something done for a change. (Kurt Schlichter)

AMEN!

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Good Old Fashioned Pork Fest

RINO UPDATE: A vast majority of the Senate disagreed with Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) assertion that President Obama’s executive order on immigration is unconstitutional…

“If you believe President Obama’s executive order was unconstitutional vote yes,” Cruz said ahead of the vote on Saturday. “If you think the president’s executive order is constitutional vote no.”

Only 22 senators voted with Cruz and 74 voted against his point of order…

Many Republicans blasted Cruz and Lee’s “strategy” as being ill conceived and a waste of time.

In Washington, more and more Republicans and their pundit allies have decided poop sandwiches sure are tasty!

*************

WASHINGTON — Health insurance companies preserved their tax breaks. Farmers and ranchers were spared having to report on pollution from manure. Tourist destinations like Las Vegas benefited from a travel promotion program.

Also buried in the giant spending bill that cleared the Senate on Saturday and is headed to President Obama for his signature were provisions that prohibit the federal government from requiring less salt in school lunches and allow schools to obtain exemptions from whole-grain requirements for pasta and tortillas.

The watered-down standards for school meals were a setback for the first lady, Michelle Obama, who had vowed to fight “until the bitter end” for tougher nutrition standards. But they were a victory for food companies and some local school officials, who had sought changes in regulations that are taking effect over several years.

When an omnibus spending bill pops onto the floor of the House or the Senate in the waning days of a congressional session, some lawmakers invariably express surprise and outrage at special-interest provisions stuffed into the package.

Representative Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio and a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, criticized the $1.1 trillion spending measure as “a Christmas tree bill,” decorated with “dangerous and unwelcome, nongermane riders.”

Such favors often have a long lineage. Lobbyists and lawmakers have, in many cases, been working on them for months or years. Some of this year’s provisions originated as free-standing bills, languished on their own and were then revived in the spending package. Others block regulations that have been proposed, adopted and sometimes upheld in court.

The School Nutrition Association, representing cafeteria directors, welcomed the bill’s language on sodium and whole grains. The lower sodium standards would have been “extremely difficult to achieve,” and the government needs more research before compelling schools to make such costly changes, said the association, which receives financial support from food companies.

Republicans like Representative Harold Rogers of Kentucky, the committee chairman, said the riders were needed to halt wasteful spending and “overreach” by agencies that generate rules harmful to the economy.

A typically arcane provision of the bill provides relief to nonprofit Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, which have special tax breaks that were threatened by the Affordable Care Act.

Blue Cross is not mentioned by name in the relevant section of the 2015 spending bill, titled “Modification of treatment of certain health organizations.” But the deduction in question is available only to Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, which have been lobbying Congress for a clarification since the Affordable Care Act was signed in 2010.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association scored several victories that require the government to keep its regulatory hands off farms and ranches.

The bill says the government cannot require farmers to report “greenhouse gas emissions from manure management systems.” Nor can it require ranchers to obtain greenhouse gas permits for “methane emissions” produced by bovine flatulence or belching. The Environmental Protection Agency says on its website that “globally, the agriculture sector is the primary source” of methane emissions.

The spending bill requires the E.P.A. to withdraw a new rule defining how the Clean Water Act applies to certain agricultural conservation practices. It also prevents the Army Corps of Engineers from regulating farm ponds and irrigation ditches under the Clean Water Act.

“This is a major victory for farmers and ranchers, who consistently tell many of us that they are concerned about the potential of the E.P.A. and the Army Corps of Engineers’ overreach into their operations,” Representative Mike Simpson, Republican of Idaho, said.

The bill renews a travel promotion program championed by the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, and by Las Vegas casinos.

“From the Las Vegas Strip to our pristine natural treasures like Lake Tahoe, tourists from all over the world want to visit Nevada,” Mr. Reid said, and the legislation encourages them to do so.

But Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, blasted this as “corporate welfare.”

“Last I checked,” Mr. Cruz said, “casinos were very profitable endeavors that didn’t need the taxpayers helping them out.”

The bill provides more than $550 billion for national defense, including money for warplanes, missiles and submarines. But mundane military matters also drew attention. The bill is accompanied by a “joint explanatory statement” that gives thousands of directives to federal agencies.

One directive deals literally with boots on the ground. It orders the Defense Logistics Agency to re-examine the way it defines “small business” when buying boots and other military footwear. A supplier can qualify for advantages as a small business if it has no more than 1,000 employees. The number doubled in 2012.

Lawmakers fear that the new size standards could harm “true small businesses” and “the domestic supply base for military footwear.” Michigan’s congressional delegation sought the legislative directive in response to concerns expressed by a Michigan company, Bates Footwear, which supplies combat boots and dress shoes to the military.

Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonprofit research group that tracks federal spending, said the bill bestowed favors on all sorts of constituencies.

“Authors of the bill and lobbyists behind these provisions know they are in there,” Mr. Ellis said. “But the public will not find out about most of them for weeks or months, if ever.”

Congress supposedly forswore spending earmarks several years ago, after federal largess led to several scandals. But lawmakers can still steer money in less conspicuous ways.

For example, the 2015 spending bill authorizes additional money for an unnamed “heritage area” specified in Section 157 of title I of Public Law 106-291. That section of the law, enacted 14 years ago, established a national heritage area in Wheeling, W.Va., to celebrate the area’s role in American history. (NYT)

Food For the Sowell VII

Thomas Sowell: The main thing wrong with the term limits movement is the “s” at the end of the word “limit.”

What are advocates of term limits trying to accomplish? If they are trying to keep government from being run by career politicians, whose top priority is getting themselves reelected, then term limits on given jobs fail to do that.

When someone reaches the limit of how long one can spend as a county supervisor, then it is just a question of finding another political office to run for, such as a member of the state legislature. And when the limit on terms there is reached, it is time to look around for another political job — perhaps as a mayor or a member of Congress.

Instead of always making reelection in an existing political post the top priority, in the last term in a given office the top priority will be doing things that will make it easier to get elected or appointed to the next political post. But in no term is doing what is right for the people likely to be the top priority.

Those who favor term limits are right to try to stop the same old politicians from staying in the same old offices for decades. But having the same career politicians circulating around in the same set of offices, like musical chairs, is not very different.

In either case, we can expect the same short-sighted policies, looking no further than the next election, and the same cynical arts of deception and log-rolling to get reelected at all costs.

There are undoubtedly some high-minded people who go into politics to serve their community or the nation. But, in the corrupting atmosphere of politics, there are too many who “came to do good and stayed to do well” — especially if they stayed too long.

Recently, California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein gave a graphic demonstration of what can happen when you have been in office too long.

During a discussion of Senator Feinstein’s proposed legislation on gun control, Texas’ freshman Senator Ted Cruz quietly and politely asked “the senior Senator from California” whether she would treat the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment the same way her gun control bill was treating the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms.

Senator Feinstein never addressed that question. Instead, she became testy and told Senator Cruz how long she had been in Congress and how much she knew. Watching her get up on her high horse to put him in his place, recalled the words of Cromwell to Members of Parliament: “You have sat too long for any good that you have been doing lately. … In the name of God, go!”
Those who oppose term limits express fears of having government run by amateurs, rather than by people with long experience in politics. But this country was created by people who were not career politicians, but who put aside their own private careers to serve in office during a critical time.

When President George Washington was told by one of his advisors that an action he planned to take might prevent him from being reelected, he exploded in anger, telling his advisor that he didn’t come here to get reelected.

As for the loss of experience and expertise if there were no career politicians, much — if not most — of that is experience and expertise in the arts of evasion, effrontery, deceit and chicanery. None of that serves the interest of the people.

If we want term limits to achieve their goals, we have to make the limit one term, with a long interval prescribed before the same person can hold any government office again. In short, we need to make political careers virtually impossible.

There are many patriotic Americans who would put aside their own private careers to serve in office, if the cost to them and their families were not ruinous, and if they had some realistic hope of advancing the interests of the country and its people without being obstructed by career politicians.

Is any of this likely today? No!

But neither the Reagan revolution nor the New Deal under FDR would have seemed likely three years before it happened. The whole point of presenting new ideas is to start a process that can make their realization possible in later years.

We have to break the cycle somehow.

condi

democracy-republicPolitical Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

 

 

Moral Hazard

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc-ra-cy)- a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing,and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed,are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

THE $7 Trillion Dollar Secret

The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.

The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.

Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse.

A fresh narrative of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 emerges from 29,000 pages of Fed documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and central bank records of more than 21,000 transactions. While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.
‘Change Their Votes’

“When you see the dollars the banks got, it’s hard to make the case these were successful institutions,” says Sherrod Brown, a Democratic Senator from Ohio who in 2010 introduced an unsuccessful bill to limit bank size. “This is an issue that can unite the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. There are lawmakers in both parties who would change their votes now.”

The size of the bailout came to light after Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, won a court case against the Fed and a group of the biggest U.S. banks called Clearing House Association LLC to force lending details into the open.

The Fed, headed by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, argued that revealing borrower details would create a stigma — investors and counterparties would shun firms that used the central bank as lender of last resort — and that needy institutions would be reluctant to borrow in the next crisis. Clearing House Association fought Bloomberg’s lawsuit up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the banks’ appeal in March 2011.

$7.77 Trillion

The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.

“TARP at least had some strings attached,” says Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, referring to the program’s executive-pay ceiling. “With the Fed programs, there was nothing.”

Bankers didn’t disclose the extent of their borrowing. On Nov. 26, 2008, then-Bank of America (BAC) Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis wrote to shareholders that he headed “one of the strongest and most stable major banks in the world.” He didn’t say that his Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm owed the central bank $86 billion that day.
‘Motivate Others’

JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon told shareholders in a March 26, 2010, letter that his bank used the Fed’s Term Auction Facility “at the request of the Federal Reserve to help motivate others to use the system.” He didn’t say that the New York-based bank’s total TAF borrowings were almost twice its cash holdings or that its peak borrowing of $48 billion on Feb. 26, 2009, came more than a year after the program’s creation.

Howard Opinsky, a spokesman for JPMorgan (JPM), declined to comment about Dimon’s statement or the company’s Fed borrowings. Jerry Dubrowski, a spokesman for Bank of America, also declined to comment.

The Fed has been lending money to banks through its so- called discount window since just after its founding in 1913. Starting in August 2007, when confidence in banks began to wane, it created a variety of ways to bolster the financial system with cash or easily traded securities. By the end of 2008, the central bank had established or expanded 11 lending facilities catering to banks, securities firms and corporations that couldn’t get short-term loans from their usual sources.
‘Core Function’

“Supporting financial-market stability in times of extreme market stress is a core function of central banks,” says William B. English, director of the Fed’s Division of Monetary Affairs. “Our lending programs served to prevent a collapse of the financial system and to keep credit flowing to American families and businesses.”

The Fed has said that all loans were backed by appropriate collateral. That the central bank didn’t lose money should “lead to praise of the Fed, that they took this extraordinary step and they got it right,” says Phillip Swagel, a former assistant Treasury secretary under Henry M. Paulson and now a professor of international economic policy at the University of Maryland.

The Fed initially released lending data in aggregate form only. Information on which banks borrowed, when, how much and at what interest rate was kept from public view.

The secrecy extended even to members of President George W. Bush’s administration who managed TARP. Top aides to Paulson weren’t privy to Fed lending details during the creation of the program that provided crisis funding to more than 700 banks, say two former senior Treasury officials who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak.
Big Six

The Treasury Department relied on the recommendations of the Fed to decide which banks were healthy enough to get TARP money and how much, the former officials say. The six biggest U.S. banks, which received $160 billion of TARP funds, borrowed as much as $460 billion from the Fed, measured by peak daily debt calculated by Bloomberg using data obtained from the central bank. Paulson didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The six — JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. (C), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley — accounted for 63 percent of the average daily debt to the Fed by all publicly traded U.S. banks, money managers and investment- services firms, the data show. By comparison, they had about half of the industry’s assets before the bailout, which lasted from August 2007 through April 2010. The daily debt figure excludes cash that banks passed along to money-market funds.
Bank Supervision

While the emergency response prevented financial collapse, the Fed shouldn’t have allowed conditions to get to that point, says Joshua Rosner, a banking analyst with Graham Fisher & Co. in New York who predicted problems from lax mortgage underwriting as far back as 2001. The Fed, the primary supervisor for large financial companies, should have been more vigilant as the housing bubble formed, and the scale of its lending shows the “supervision of the banks prior to the crisis was far worse than we had imagined,” Rosner says.

Bernanke in an April 2009 speech said that the Fed provided emergency loans only to “sound institutions,” even though its internal assessments described at least one of the biggest borrowers, Citigroup, as “marginal.”

On Jan. 14, 2009, six days before the company’s central bank loans peaked, the New York Fed gave CEO Vikram Pandit a report declaring Citigroup’s financial strength to be “superficial,” bolstered largely by its $45 billion of Treasury funds. The document was released in early 2011 by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a panel empowered by Congress to probe the causes of the crisis.
‘Need Transparency’

Andrea Priest, a spokeswoman for the New York Fed, declined to comment, as did Jon Diat, a spokesman for Citigroup.

“I believe that the Fed should have independence in conducting highly technical monetary policy, but when they are putting taxpayer resources at risk, we need transparency and accountability,” says Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.

Judd Gregg, a former New Hampshire senator who was a lead Republican negotiator on TARP, and Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who chaired the House Financial Services Committee, both say they were kept in the dark.

“We didn’t know the specifics,” says Gregg, who’s now an adviser to Goldman Sachs.

“We were aware emergency efforts were going on,” Frank says. “We didn’t know the specifics.”
Disclose Lending

Frank co-sponsored the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, billed as a fix for financial-industry excesses. Congress debated that legislation in 2010 without a full understanding of how deeply the banks had depended on the Fed for survival.

It would have been “totally appropriate” to disclose the lending data by mid-2009, says David Jones, a former economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York who has written four books about the central bank.

“The Fed is the second-most-important appointed body in the U.S., next to the Supreme Court, and we’re dealing with a democracy,” Jones says. “Our representatives in Congress deserve to have this kind of information so they can oversee the Fed.”

The Dodd-Frank law required the Fed to release details of some emergency-lending programs in December 2010. It also mandated disclosure of discount-window borrowers after a two- year lag.
Protecting TARP

TARP and the Fed lending programs went “hand in hand,” says Sherrill Shaffer, a banking professor at the University of Wyoming in Laramie and a former chief economist at the New York Fed. While the TARP money helped insulate the central bank from losses, the Fed’s willingness to supply seemingly unlimited financing to the banks assured they wouldn’t collapse, protecting the Treasury’s TARP investments, he says.

“Even though the Treasury was in the headlines, the Fed was really behind the scenes engineering it,” Shaffer says.

Congress, at the urging of Bernanke and Paulson, created TARP in October 2008 after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. made it difficult for financial institutions to get loans. Bank of America and New York-based Citigroup each received $45 billion from TARP. At the time, both were tapping the Fed. Citigroup hit its peak borrowing of $99.5 billion in January 2009, while Bank of America topped out in February 2009 at $91.4 billion.
No Clue

Lawmakers knew none of this.

They had no clue that one bank, New York-based Morgan Stanley (MS), took $107 billion in Fed loans in September 2008, enough to pay off one-tenth of the country’s delinquent mortgages. The firm’s peak borrowing occurred the same day Congress rejected the proposed TARP bill, triggering the biggest point drop ever in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. (INDU) The bill later passed, and Morgan Stanley got $10 billion of TARP funds, though Paulson said only “healthy institutions” were eligible.

Mark Lake, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley, declined to comment, as did spokesmen for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

Had lawmakers known, it “could have changed the whole approach to reform legislation,” says Ted Kaufman, a former Democratic Senator from Delaware who, with Brown, introduced the bill to limit bank size.
Moral Hazard

Kaufman says some banks are so big that their failure could trigger a chain reaction in the financial system. The cost of borrowing for so-called too-big-to-fail banks is lower than that of smaller firms because lenders believe the government won’t let them go under. The perceived safety net creates what economists call moral hazard — the belief that bankers will take greater risks because they’ll enjoy any profits while shifting losses to taxpayers.

Moral hazard arises because an individual or institution does not take the full consequences and responsibilities of its actions, and therefore has a tendency to act less carefully than it otherwise would, leaving another party to hold some responsibility for the consequences of those actions. For example, a person with insurance against automobile theft may be less cautious about locking his or her car, because the negative consequences of vehicle theft are (partially) the responsibility of the insurance company.

If Congress had been aware of the extent of the Fed rescue, Kaufman says, he would have been able to line up more support for breaking up the biggest banks.

Byron L. Dorgan, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota, says the knowledge might have helped pass legislation to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, which for most of the last century separated customer deposits from the riskier practices of investment banking.

“Had people known about the hundreds of billions in loans to the biggest financial institutions, they would have demanded Congress take much more courageous actions to stop the practices that caused this near financial collapse,” says Dorgan, who retired in January.
Getting Bigger

Instead, the Fed and its secret financing helped America’s biggest financial firms get bigger and go on to pay employees as much as they did at the height of the housing bubble.

Total assets held by the six biggest U.S. banks increased 39 percent to $9.5 trillion on Sept. 30, 2011, from $6.8 trillion on the same day in 2006, according to Fed data.

For so few banks to hold so many assets is “un-American,” says Richard W. Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “All of these gargantuan institutions are too big to regulate. I’m in favor of breaking them up and slimming them down.”

Employees at the six biggest banks made twice the average for all U.S. workers in 2010, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics hourly compensation cost data. The banks spent $146.3 billion on compensation in 2010, or an average of $126,342 per worker, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s up almost 20 percent from five years earlier compared with less than 15 percent for the average worker. Average pay at the banks in 2010 was about the same as in 2007, before the bailouts.
‘Wanted to Pretend’

“The pay levels came back so fast at some of these firms that it appeared they really wanted to pretend they hadn’t been bailed out,” says Anil Kashyap, a former Fed economist who’s now a professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “They shouldn’t be surprised that a lot of people find some of the stuff that happened totally outrageous.”

Bank of America took over Merrill Lynch & Co. at the urging of then-Treasury Secretary Paulson after buying the biggest U.S. home lender, Countrywide Financial Corp. When the Merrill Lynch purchase was announced on Sept. 15, 2008, Bank of America had $14.4 billion in emergency Fed loans and Merrill Lynch had $8.1 billion. By the end of the month, Bank of America’s loans had reached $25 billion and Merrill Lynch’s had exceeded $60 billion, helping both firms keep the deal on track.
Prevent Collapse

Wells Fargo bought Wachovia Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. bank by deposits before the 2008 acquisition. Because depositors were pulling their money from Wachovia, the Fed channeled $50 billion in secret loans to the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank through two emergency-financing programs to prevent collapse before Wells Fargo could complete the purchase.

“These programs proved to be very successful at providing financial markets the additional liquidity and confidence they needed at a time of unprecedented uncertainty,” says Ancel Martinez, a spokesman for Wells Fargo.

JPMorgan absorbed the country’s largest savings and loan, Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc., and investment bank Bear Stearns Cos. The New York Fed, then headed by Timothy F. Geithner, who’s now Treasury secretary, helped JPMorgan complete the Bear Stearns deal by providing $29 billion of financing, which was disclosed at the time. The Fed also supplied Bear Stearns with $30 billion of secret loans to keep the company from failing before the acquisition closed, central bank data show. The loans were made through a program set up to provide emergency funding to brokerage firms.
‘Regulatory Discretion’

“Some might claim that the Fed was picking winners and losers, but what the Fed was doing was exercising its professional regulatory discretion,” says John Dearie, a former speechwriter at the New York Fed who’s now executive vice president for policy at the Financial Services Forum, a Washington-based group consisting of the CEOs of 20 of the world’s biggest financial firms. “The Fed clearly felt it had what it needed within the requirements of the law to continue to lend to Bear and Wachovia.”

The bill introduced by Brown and Kaufman in April 2010 would have mandated shrinking the six largest firms.

“When a few banks have advantages, the little guys get squeezed,” Brown says. “That, to me, is not what capitalism should be.”

Kaufman says he’s passionate about curbing too-big-to-fail banks because he fears another crisis.

‘Can We Survive?’

“The amount of pain that people, through no fault of their own, had to endure — and the prospect of putting them through it again — is appalling,” Kaufman says. “The public has no more appetite for bailouts. What would happen tomorrow if one of these big banks got in trouble? Can we survive that?”

Lobbying expenditures by the six banks that would have been affected by the legislation rose to $29.4 million in 2010 compared with $22.1 million in 2006, the last full year before credit markets seized up — a gain of 33 percent, according to OpenSecrets.org, a research group that tracks money in U.S. politics. Lobbying by the American Bankers Association, a trade organization, increased at about the same rate, OpenSecrets.org reported.

Lobbyists argued the virtues of bigger banks. They’re more stable, better able to serve large companies and more competitive internationally, and breaking them up would cost jobs and cause “long-term damage to the U.S. economy,” according to a Nov. 13, 2009, letter to members of Congress from the FSF.

The group’s website cites Nobel Prize-winning economist Oliver E. Williamson, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, for demonstrating the greater efficiency of large companies.
‘Serious Burden’

In an interview, Williamson says that the organization took his research out of context and that efficiency is only one factor in deciding whether to preserve too-big-to-fail banks.

“The banks that were too big got even bigger, and the problems that we had to begin with are magnified in the process,” Williamson says. “The big banks have incentives to take risks they wouldn’t take if they didn’t have government support. It’s a serious burden on the rest of the economy.”

The Moral Hazard.

Dearie says his group didn’t mean to imply that Williamson endorsed big banks.

Top officials in President Barack Obama’s administration sided with the FSF in arguing against legislative curbs on the size of banks.
Geithner, Kaufman

On May 4, 2010, Geithner visited Kaufman in his Capitol Hill office. As president of the New York Fed in 2007 and 2008, Geithner helped design and run the central bank’s lending programs. The New York Fed supervised four of the six biggest U.S. banks and, during the credit crunch, put together a daily confidential report on Wall Street’s financial condition. Geithner was copied on these reports, based on a sampling of e- mails released by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

At the meeting with Kaufman, Geithner argued that the issue of limiting bank size was too complex for Congress and that people who know the markets should handle these decisions, Kaufman says. According to Kaufman, Geithner said he preferred that bank supervisors from around the world, meeting in Basel, Switzerland, make rules increasing the amount of money banks need to hold in reserve. Passing laws in the U.S. would undercut his efforts in Basel, Geithner said, according to Kaufman.

Anthony Coley, a spokesman for Geithner, declined to comment.
‘Punishing Success’

Lobbyists for the big banks made the winning case that forcing them to break up was “punishing success,” Brown says. Now that they can see how much the banks were borrowing from the Fed, senators might think differently, he says.

The Fed supported curbing too-big-to-fail banks, including giving regulators the power to close large financial firms and implementing tougher supervision for big banks, says Fed General Counsel Scott G. Alvarez. The Fed didn’t take a position on whether large banks should be dismantled before they get into trouble.

Dodd-Frank does provide a mechanism for regulators to break up the biggest banks. It established the Financial Stability Oversight Council that could order teetering banks to shut down in an orderly way. The council is headed by Geithner.

“Dodd-Frank does not solve the problem of too big to fail,” says Shelby, the Alabama Republican. “Moral hazard and taxpayer exposure still very much exist.”
Below Market

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, says banks “were either in bad shape or taking advantage of the Fed giving them a good deal. The former contradicts their public statements. The latter — getting loans at below-market rates during a financial crisis — is quite a gift.”

The Fed says it typically makes emergency loans more expensive than those available in the marketplace to discourage banks from abusing the privilege. During the crisis, Fed loans were among the cheapest around, with funding available for as low as 0.01 percent in December 2008, according to data from the central bank and money-market rates tracked by Bloomberg.

The Fed funds also benefited firms by allowing them to avoid selling assets to pay investors and depositors who pulled their money. So the assets stayed on the banks’ books, earning interest.

Banks report the difference between what they earn on loans and investments and their borrowing expenses. The figure, known as net interest margin, provides a clue to how much profit the firms turned on their Fed loans, the costs of which were included in those expenses. To calculate how much banks stood to make, Bloomberg multiplied their tax-adjusted net interest margins by their average Fed debt during reporting periods in which they took emergency loans.
Added Income

The 190 firms for which data were available would have produced income of $13 billion, assuming all of the bailout funds were invested at the margins reported, the data show.

The six biggest U.S. banks’ share of the estimated subsidy was $4.8 billion, or 23 percent of their combined net income during the time they were borrowing from the Fed. Citigroup would have taken in the most, with $1.8 billion.

“The net interest margin is an effective way of getting at the benefits that these large banks received from the Fed,” says Gerald A. Hanweck, a former Fed economist who’s now a finance professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

While the method isn’t perfect, it’s impossible to state the banks’ exact profits or savings from their Fed loans because the numbers aren’t disclosed and there isn’t enough publicly available data to figure it out.

Opinsky, the JPMorgan spokesman, says he doesn’t think the calculation is fair because “in all likelihood, such funds were likely invested in very short-term investments,” which typically bring lower returns.
Standing Access

Even without tapping the Fed, the banks get a subsidy by having standing access to the central bank’s money, says Viral Acharya, a New York University economics professor who has worked as an academic adviser to the New York Fed.

“Banks don’t give lines of credit to corporations for free,” he says. “Why should all these government guarantees and liquidity facilities be for free?”

In the September 2008 meeting at which Paulson and Bernanke briefed lawmakers on the need for TARP, Bernanke said that if nothing was done, “unemployment would rise — to 8 or 9 percent from the prevailing 6.1 percent,” Paulson wrote in “On the Brink” (Business Plus, 2010).
Occupy Wall Street

The U.S. jobless rate hasn’t dipped below 8.8 percent since March 2009, 3.6 million homes have been foreclosed since August 2007, according to data provider RealtyTrac Inc., and police have clashed with Occupy Wall Street protesters, who say government policies favor the wealthiest citizens, in New York, Boston, Seattle and Oakland, California.

The Tea Party, which supports a more limited role for government, has its roots in anger over the Wall Street bailouts, says Neil M. Barofsky, former TARP special inspector general and a Bloomberg Television contributing editor.

“The lack of transparency is not just frustrating; it really blocked accountability,” Barofsky says. “When people don’t know the details, they fill in the blanks. They believe in conspiracies.”

In the end, Geithner had his way. The Brown-Kaufman proposal to limit the size of banks was defeated, 60 to 31. Bank supervisors meeting in Switzerland did mandate minimum reserves that institutions will have to hold, with higher levels for the world’s largest banks, including the six biggest in the U.S. Those rules can be changed by individual countries.

They take full effect in 2019.

Meanwhile, Kaufman says, “we’re absolutely, totally, 100 percent not prepared for another financial crisis.”(Bloomberg)

Feel better now? 🙂

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

 Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Morning Glory Problem

Chris “Tinkle Up my leg” Matthews (MSDNC) on Obama:

http://tv.breitbart.com/thrill-is-gone-matthews-turns-on-obama-i-hear-stories-that-you-would-not-believe/

Fascinating…

More Peter Schweizer: http://www.breitbart.tv/glenn-beck-interviews-peter-schweitzer/

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7388130n

If you have connections, however, you can game the system to your advantage. As government grows larger and larger, the influence of special interest becomes entwined within the bureaucracy. It’s like allowing Morning Glory to grow in you flower bed. At first, the plant might stay where you put it and help populate your trellis with a blanket of leaves and the morning flowers. Left unchecked, however, it will quickly take over everything within reach and begin altering the intended appearance of your flower bed. If left to go to seed, you will spend the rest of your life trying to keep it from coming up every spring.

Our government has reached the stage of a garden overrun with Morning Glory. It can no longer be contained within its intended boundaries. It has morphed into a hideous weed that threatens to destroy any appearance of a garden. It’s now providing cover for other undesirable elements like rodents and herbivores, which we call lobbyists and legislators. Mosquitoes and bureaucrats hide in the shade of its leaves during the day and then attack us at nightfall.

There is only one answer to correcting such a state. The garden must be completely uprooted an tilled over before you can replant. It might take a few seasons to rid yourself of unwanted growth, but in time, the garden will once again take on its intended appearance. Never again can Morning Glory be allowed to take hold.  (roderic deane)

Prior to the release of Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer’s blockbuster book, Throw Them All Out, legislative efforts to pass a bill banning insider trading by members of Congress had floundered.

But all that is changing—and fast.

Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN) says that before the 60 Minutes report on Schweizer’s book, his STOCK (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge) Act, H.R. 1148, had only garnered four cosponsors in Congress since he and Rep. Louise Slaughter  (D-NY)  (one of the key votes for Obamacare by the way…) re-introduced the legislation on March 18, 2011.

In the two days since the 60 Minutes program aired, Walz says the number of House members supporting the bill has shot up to thirty-five, and climbing.

The rock has been removed and all the cockroaches are scrambling for cover!

According to Walz’s website, the STOCK Act:

  • Prohibits Members and employees of Congress from buying or selling securities, swaps, security based swaps, or commodity futures based on nonpublic information they obtain because of their status;
  • Prohibits Executive Branch employees from buying or selling securities, swaps, security based swaps, or commodity futures based on nonpublic information they obtain because of their status;
  • Prohibits those outside Congress from buying or selling securities, swaps, security based swaps, or commodity futures based on nonpublic information obtained from within Congress or the Executive Branch;
  • Prohibits Members and employees of Congress from disclosing any non-public information about any pending or prospective legislative action for investment purposes;
  • Requires Members and employees of Congress to report the purchase, sale or exchange of any stock, bond, or commodity future transaction in excess of $1,000 within 90 days. Members and employees who choose to place their stock in holdings in blind trusts or mutual funds would be exempt from the reporting requirement; and,
  • Requires firms that specialize in “political intelligence” and that obtain their information directly from Congress to register with the House and Senate, much like lobbying firms are now required to do.

The legislation, which was originally introduced by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) in 2006, has also attracted bipartisan support in the Senate, with Sen. Scott Brown (D-MA) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) proposing their own version of the bill.

Congressman Walz says the 60 Minutes report on Throw Them All Out is making all the difference.

“If you didn’t think Congress’ approval rating can go any lower than 9 percent, have them watch the 60 Minutes story,” he told the Mankato Free Press.  “And that’s a problem.”

Everyone should. Then go buy the book. Then Vote the bums out!

http://www.amazon.com/Throw-Them-All-Peter-Schweizer/dp/0547573146/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321881685&sr=8-1

Big Government’s story says Pelosi and her husband purchased $1-$5 Million of the stock, which then skyrocketed in value to a 203% return on the Pelosi’s investment.

“Soft Corruption” is the term Peter Schweizer uses for the “honest” graft available to members of Congress – insider trading, for example, which is not illegal for our Congressional “public servants.” Repeating: insider trading laws do not apply to Congress.

Oh, and the Super Committee failed due to partisan intransigence. SURPRISE! 😦

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

The Sublime & The Ridiculous

If you call a radio talk show and get on the air, you might be recorded by the FBI.

The FBI has awarded a $524,927 contract to a Virginia company to record as much radio news and talk programming as it can find on the Internet.

The FBI says it is not playing big brother by policing the airwaves, but rather seeking access to what airs as potential evidence.

So be careful what you say. Your Freedom of Speech is being recorded for use by Big Brother. 🙂

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson told WMAL.com.   “Its very important to our investigators to know what’s being reported.” 

And Super-Progressive Liberal Talk Show host Alan Colmes should be careful what he says. 🙂  NOT!

Now to the sublime:

In Flint, Michigan, Vice President Joe Biden suggested that more rapes and murders could occur if President Barack Obama’s jobs bill is not passed.

“In 2008, when Flint had 265 sworn officers on their police force, there were 35 murders and 91 rapes in this city,” Biden said. “In 2010, when Flint had only 144 police officers, the murder rate climbed to 65 and rapes–just to pick two categories–climbed to 229. In 2011, you now only have 125 shields. God only knows what the numbers will be this year for Flint if we don’t rectify it.”

The fact that went I was growing up in Flint there were 7 auto plants and $250,000 people.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports the 2010 population to be placed at 102,434 and there are no auto plants anymore.

Now that’s Job’s “saved or created”. And passing a jobs bill to benefit unions and state employee pensions a second time  will most certainly prevent more violence! 🙂

The vice president also seemed to suggest that the Obama administration’s first stimulus is the reason rapes and murders were not even higher in 2010 and 2011.” And God only knows what that number would have been had we not been able to get a little bit of help,” Biden said. 

Oh God…Where would any rational person start with this crap?

“I don’t know whether Mr. Cantor watched any of the town meetings that we had in August of ‘09,” Hoyer said, according to talkradionews.com.

Any stories about 700 Tea Partiers being arrested or squatting in a park for weeks that becomes a health hazard please let me know. Hint: They don’t exist.

“They were much more confrontational in many respects than these demonstrations are.

Yeah, they are just squatting and whining. Not actively challenging politicians.

This is a democracy and one of the good aspects of democracy is people get the opportunity to express their concerns and hope that action will be taken to address those grievances….

As long as they aren’t “confrontational” like Tea Partiers and actually ask me questions I don’t want to answer.

One of the problems that we have in this country is that a minority controls the United States Senate and that the majority of the representatives of the United States Senate are precluded, too often, from considering the merits of proposals which have a majority support but not 60 votes support,” he said. “I think that’s unfortunate.”

So does that mean when the Democrats had a the majority (even a veto-proof Supermajority) in for the first 15 months of Obama’s reign they were evil, unamerican obstructionists? 🙂

And having the Senate to crush anything the House does and a President who will crush anything that gets passed that is not good enough and it’s the “minorities” fault. (So does that make the Democrats in the House responsible for all those bills the Senate votes down?- after all they are the minority?) 🙂

And when the Democrats were in the minority up until 2007 does that mean THEY were the problem??

Of course not. It’s just yet another silly Democrat Talking Point for the all the little Maoist Minions to repeat mindlessly.

Yesterday at a State Department luncheon featuring the South Korean president, Biden and Hoyer are sharing a table with Lewis B. Kaden, the vice chairman of Citigroup bank, Michael K. Wirth, Chevron Corporation’s executive vice president for Downstream & Chemicals, and banker James B. Flaws, vice chairman and chief financial officer of Corning Incorporated.

Lunch with Devil. And I’m sure they hit him up for a little scratch. 🙂

Old and busted: Jobs “saved or created.”  New hotness: Jobs “supported.”  In attempting to advance the argument for Barack Obama’s new jobs stimulus plan, the White House has decided to create a new term that has, er, even less meaning than their previous measure:

The American Jobs Act Will Support Nearly 400,000 Education Jobs—Preventing Layoffs and Allowing Thousands More to Be Hired or Rehired: The President’s plan will more than offset projected layoffs, providing support for nearly 400,000 education jobs—enough for states to avoid harmful layoffs and rehire tens of thousands of teachers who lost their jobs over the past three years.

Read, “government union employees”. Your job, f*ck that. Who cares!! Your boss is an evil capitalist pig anyhow! You aren’t a government union employee. He has to protect his union brethren like he did with the First Stimulus so they will kiss his butt and vote for him. He’s buying votes, not “jobs”.

The Administration then points to $30 billion in spending contained in the proposed American Jobs Act. The purpose of this spending, as specified in the bill text, is to “prevent teacher layoffs and support the creation of additional jobs in public early childhood, elementary, and secondary education in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.”

Does this give readers a sense of deja vu?  The block grants in Porkulus also assumed that states would simply lay off teachers and first responders as a result of large-scale budget deficits in the throes of the Great Recession.  That’s where jobs “saved and created” originated; Obama and his team meant public-sector employees in states and local governments.  Only those organizations employ a lot more people than just teachers, police officers, and fire fighters; most states have vast bureaucracies that ended up getting “saved” thanks to the infusion of cash that allowed legislatures to put off tough decisions on the size and nature of government during the economic crisis.

Well, the acute economic crisis is over.  What’s the excuse for procrastination now?  Instead of having the states take responsibility for tough budget decisions, Obama wants to let states like Illinois and California off the hook by forcing other states to subsidize their bad budgeting decisions.  Why?  Take a look at the recent history of the Electoral College for one reason, and the fact that most of these bureaucrats belong to public-employee unions like SEIU and AFCSME for another reason.  That’s what Obama is “supporting.”  Let’s recall the extensive reporting in 2009 that showed that jobs “saved or created” were a myth, even in the public sector.

As the series of Porkulus fables proved, that assumption failed badly with “saved or created,” and there’s no reason to believe it will work any better with “jobs supported.” (Hot air)

SOLYNDRA

(CNN) – President Obama Monday said he does not regret a half-billion dollar government loan to the now-bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra and vigorously defended his administration’s policy of providing assistance to similar entities.

“No I don’t,” the president said when asked directly if he regretted the $535 billion federal loan guarantee in 2009. “Because if you look at the overall portfolio of loan guarantees that had been provided, overall it’s doing well. And what we always understood is that not every single business is going to succeed in clean energy.”

Half a Billion $$$ down the crapper. No big Deal. Except…

President Obama was warned by his top economic advisors about the financial and political risks of the Energy Department loan guarantee program that boosted the company’s rapid ascent.  At a White House meeting in late October, Lawrence H. Summers, then director of the National Economic Council, and Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, expressed concerns that the selection process for federal loan guarantees wasn’t rigorous enough and raised the risk that funds could be going to the wrong companies, including ones that didn’t need the help.

…In late October 2010, administration officials took their opposing views directly to Obama. In preparation, a memo was drafted by Summers, who remained wary of the program, and two others who were more supportive: then-energy advisor Carol Browner and Ron Klain, then chief of staff to Vice President Joseph Biden. The memo laid out their different concerns and options to fix a “broken process” for getting loans approved.

…Government audits in recent years have found problems in the implementation of the program. A July 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office found that the department committed to back the loans without completing required studies of market, legal and technical issues.  “Without this information, it is not clear that the program could have fully evaluated the risk of the loans it committed to,” said Frank Rusco, an analyst for the GAO.
This story will leave a mark for a number of reasons.  First of all, it indicates that President Obama himself was warned — directly and specifically — about the systemic hazards inherent in broadening and expediting the “green energy” loan program.  Among those admonishing Obama against moving forward were Larry “There’s no adult in charge” Summers, and Tim “This Second Stimulus is a Bargain!” Geithner.  The president discarded their advice, the White House gave a green light to the loans, and the rest is history.

Bush-era DOE officials rejected Solyndra’s loan application prior to Obama’s inauguration in January of 2009.  A few months later, Obama OMB actuaries reached a similar conclusion — arguing that the $535 Billion deal was “not ready for prime time,” and accurately predicting that Solydra would implode in September of 2011.

(And it did!!)

The Solyndra ticking time bomb was discovered and repeatedly flagged as too risky by two separate administrations.  Every conceivable red flag was flapping in a stiff wind, yet the loan was fast-tracked anyway because Obama’s political team insisted on it.  They now claim major Obama donor George Kaiser’s four visits to the White House immediately before the approval had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision.  It’s premature to declare that a giant lie, but it sure smells like one.  Especially since the White House was complicit in masking the company’s tail-spinning finances as recently as this summer. (townhall)

“Hindsight is always 20/20,” said Obama to Stephanopoulos, even as his remarks indicated that he would gladly make the same mistake again. He offered no apology to taxpayers while promising more grand gambles with their money in the future: “… the fact of the matter is that if we don’t get behind clean energy, if we don’t get behind advanced battery manufacturing, if we’re not the ones who are creating the cars of the future, then we’re not going to be able to make stuff here in the United States of America. And one of the most important things that I want to do over the next several years is restore a sense that America can manufacture, but we don’t just purchase stuff from someplace else, but we’re also exporting to other countries.”

According to this ludicrous attempt at uplift, Obama is making America more competitive in the global marketplace one bankruptcy at a time.

But he had the best of intentions and it “felt good” so it’s no big deal.

Like a good socialist ideologue, he is impervious to reality and treats any setback as a reason to expand rather than end the cause. Last week, his Department of Energy shoveled out the door more money for green jobs. What will happen with those billions is anybody’s guess.

With the Solyndra scandal already beyond the boiling point, the Department of Energy pushed through nearly $6 billion more in green energy loans in the final hours of the maligned program.  One of those was to another California based company, SunPower, who just three weeks earlier had publicly announced plans to build its 320,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Mexico. 

The Mexico plant will produce solar panels to be shipped back to California for a proposed “solar ranch” in San Luis Obispo County that will have a grand total of 15 permanent presumably American jobs.  That works out to $82.6 million per job created. 

Like Solyndra, SunPower is in a perilous financial condition.  SunPower’s stock price has tumbled 94% from the once glory-days of 2007 when the company was worth $13 billion.  Based on July 2011 financial reports, the current market capitalization of the company is $800 million and it owes $820 million in debt.  You can find a further explanation of what that means in the dictionary under “insolvent.”

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the top ranking Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee and a member of the Democrats’ Leadership in the House has been an unabashed cheerleader for SunPower – and coincidentally, his son is also SunPower’s Washington lobbyist.  Although SunPower didn’t score a visit from Barack Obama or Joe Biden as Solyndra did, Miller managed to showcase the company to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar who said “the path to a clean energy economy starts here.”  Well, not exactly Mr. Secretary – it will start 350 miles to the south; in Mexico.

Speaking of Mexico:

The Obama Justice Department has recently awarded millions of dollars in politically-motivated grants with a chunk of the money going to community groups that help illegal immigrants.

The federal agency charged with enforcing the law and defending the nation’s interests dedicated even more taxpayer money to help illegal aliens in the last few months, JW found. Just last month the New York-based Vera Institute of Justice got nearly $3 million <http://www.usaspending.gov/search?query=&searchtype=&formFields=eyJSZWNpcGllbnROYW1lTGNhc2UiOlsiVmVyYSBJbnN0aXR1dGUgT2YgSnVzdGljZSAgSW5jLiJdfQ> for a “legal orientation program” for detained aliens.

Other open borders groups also got money from the DOJ, including the California-based National Immigration Law Center, which is dedicated to fighting “draconian restrictions on immigrants’ rights” <http://www.nilc.org/nilcinfo/index.htm> and boasts about having a “strong presence in Washington D.C.” The DOJ gave it $66,000  this year for “immigration-related employment discrimination public education.” Last spring the group got a similar DOJ grant for $65,453 .

But don’t worry, be happy. You can’t possible do anything in live without Government…

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 


Circular Firing Squads

SUPERMAN LOVES AMERICA AGAIN

In Action Comics #900, a back up strip by David Goyer, showed Superman announcing he was to go to the UN and give up his citizenship of the USA, so to ensure his actions were not mistaken for US government policy.

There was a Firestorm! (and I don’t mean a DC comics character).

Well, today, from DC Comics, on the last page of Superman #711, we see a very different situation. Superman loving America after all! That (thankfully) doesn’t spoil the story having on its own right here.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

The challenge of a U.S. corporate tax overhaul only seems to grow.

At a House Ways and Means hearing on Thursday, some business executives were even nodding to the possibility of a value-added tax to offset the budget impact of significantly lowering the U.S. corporate tax rate.

“As you take a holistic view… the value-added tax is one of those things that needs to be on the table,” Greg Hayes, CFO of United Technologies Corp., said in response to a lawmaker’s question.

In fact, there’s a surprising amount of interest in that idea on all sides. Many Democrats see a VAT as a way to pay for new infrastructure and shore up spending programs. Some Republicans – and corporate executives – see it as a way to pay for tax cuts that would spur investment, and make U.S. businesses more competitive. Much of the corporate-rate cutting that has gone on around the rest of the developed world in recent years has been paid for by increasing value-added taxes. Other countries view it as a necessary tradeoff to boost domestic manufacturing and exports.

Mind you, corporations don’t actually pay these taxes, they just pass them on in the cost of goods. So you get the old double whammy.

It all goes to show how knotty the long-neglected problems of the U.S. corporate tax system have become. The painful reality, as several lawmakers suggested, is that the U.S. would have to get rid of many if not most of its current corporate tax breaks just in order to lower the U.S. corporate rate to the high 20s. It’s currently 35%, the second highest in the developed world. And to be truly competitive, the U.S. rate probably needs to get down to around 20%. That would leave room for state corporate rates. (WSJ)

************

Students in New London will not only have to pass English to graduate, but they will have to prove that they know the American English language and be able to demonstrate it as of 2015.

The board of education on Thursday approved the major change to city education policy, according to the Day of New London.

Only 16 percent of New London High School 10th graders scored at the highest levels for English on standardized tests in 2010, the Day reports.

The student body includes immigrants from 28 countries, the Day reports. And the school district Web site includes translations in 52 languages.

“We know from colleges and employers, that our students are going to have to know how to read and write in English if they are going be successful,” Supt. Nicholas Fischer, told the Day.

The state department of education does not have a policy of this kind. (NBConnecticut)

Wonder how long before it’s ruled as “racist” and “insensitive”??…

*********************

Washington is full of self-interested political characters, and it’s always amusing to watch ambitious schemers with common enemies harm each other instead. Inside the beltway, this is called a “circular firing squad.”

There’s no shortage of this in-fighting in flailing political campaigns. One recent example was the public scrum over President Obama’s birth certificate.

It’s natural to think that the whole “birther” phenomenon was cooked up by right-wing conspiracy theorists, but it was actually the brainchild of Hillary Clinton partisans during the 2008 Democratic primaries.

Even the White House’s late April disclosure of Obama’s long-form birth certificate didn’t quell the noise level completely, with some continuing to allege fraud. The smart money says this issue — created by supporters of Obama’s current secretary of state — will remain on the national radar for some people through the 2012 elections.

America’s food fringe has its share of circular firing squads too.

VegNews magazine — which, as you probably guessed, advocates against eating meat, cheese, or using any animal products — recently found itself embroiled in a major scandal (“major” within its tiny cultural niche, anyway).

Bloggers discovered that VegNews was airbrushing meat and dairy foods out of “stock” photography, sanitizing them just enough to credibly accompany vegan recipes. (Apparently, some animal activists were shocked to learn that a juicy burger looks more tempting than faux-meat soy loaf.)

Among the 1 percent of Americans who eat a PETA-approved diet, mass outrage ensued. And VegNews, sensing the loss of its subscription base, issued a groveling retraction.

You’d think vegans would have a great enough sense of common purpose to avoid targeting their own kind.

But to a certain degree, it’s predictable. This is what happens when you look at dinner as a political statement instead of as — well, food.

Some food revolutionaries, to be fair, are well intentioned and genuinely look for ways to improve agriculture, even if their solutions aren’t terribly practical. But there’s definitely a current of holier-than-thou snobbery running through today’s “foodie” movement. And the food-politics stage is seldom big enough for two giant egos.

A celebrity chef announces an all-organic menu. Then a school lunch program (usually somewhere like Berkeley) limits itself to organic and “local.” Eventually the one-upmanship results in someone marketing organic, local, and “heirloom” produce. Grass-fed, organic, locally raised, artisanal beef, anyone? You get the picture.

The results for organic-food crusaders are mutually destructive squabbling, fractured messages, and a confused consumer base. The same thing happens when one organic interest directly attacks another, as we’ve seen with the Cornucopia Institute’s broadsides against large, “corporate” organic marketers.

We see some flavor of this with egg marketers. Some of them may find it appetizing, for competitive advantage if no other reason, to embrace “cage free” and organic niches and promote their supposed benefits in a way that undercuts larger, “conventional” egg interests.

This may — underline “may” — be a winning strategy in the short-term. But in the long run, profit margins on cage-free eggs will creep down closer to those of regular eggs. And the whole industry will be left more vulnerable to vegan-promotion organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), whose foot in the door will eventually become two feet, and then a leg.

For the uninitiated, an HSUS vice president admitted a few years ago that her organization’s goal was to “get rid of the entire [animal agriculture] industry” by “promoting veganism.”

She now runs the “Global Animal Partnership,” which Whole Foods created to legitimize its feel-good animal welfare niche marketing and help it cling to its elite status.

Whole Foods, of course, is the paragon of “progressive” food. But it still has circular firing squad problems.

Anti-biotechnology activists now claim that many products in Whole Foods stores are “contaminated” with genetically modified organisms. This might be technically true, but GMOs are harmless. Americans have been eating them for 15 years without credible evidence of any health risks.

Ultimately, Whole Foods’ purer-than-thou positioning hasn’t insulated it from pitchfork-wielding ideologues. The self-proclaimed “Millions Against Monsanto” movement even hints that an organized boycott of Whole Foods could come as soon as October.

Conventional wisdom in Washington holds that if an opponent wants to hang himself, you should give him some rope. When annoying “foodie” factions publicly bicker over who’s the most gastronomically chaste, sometimes the best thing to do is grab some non-organic popcorn and watch the fireworks. (DC)

So anyone else want to stand in front of the Firing Squad? Because there are plenty of people out there that will volunteer YOU for one!! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

It’s Wafer Thin!

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

We had to pass it to know what was it in when it came to ObamaCare because they had 15 months to read the 2,100 page Obamacare and didn’t, but Sen. Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget outline that was 70 pages ALL the Democrats and the Liberal media have completely digested and analyzed in just hours!

Because they are already on the attack. Like raptors on prey.

And it’s straight of my “excuse list” (See Last Sunday’s blog) 🙂

Anyway, get used to this: Warnings about grandma being forced to eat styrofoam peanuts and Fancy Feast because of heartless Republicans and their insane crusade for solvency will be a staple of Democratic talking points by next November, especially with the White House desperate to win back seniors alienated by ObamaCare.

How does letting the country collapse fiscally, which would prompt truly draconian cuts under an austerity plan to rebalance the books, put more food on seniors’ tables? (Hotair.com)

It doesn’t. But The Democrats only have 1 playbook and it’s the same one they’ve been using for a century.

It’s call Fear.

Intimidation.

Lying.

Hyperbole.

Hysterical “examples”.

And good old time tested CLASS WARFARE!

Liberal political strategist Donna Brazile took to Twitter to assail fiscal conservatives for “taking medicine from seniors” and cutting taxes for “the rich and their corporate donors.”

Do-nothing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attacked Republicans for paving a “path to poverty for America’s seniors and children and a road to riches for big oil.”

PELOSI: “When I hear you speak about this issue, of course it’s the Gospel of Matthew: When I was hungry, he gave me to eat and the rest of it goes on. And when I hear Reverend Wallis talk about priorities.

I can’t help but think about the fact that in these same budgets, we are talking about, they give tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to Big Oil to drill when they are making a trillion dollars over 10 years in profits, that we are giving tax breaks to companies to send jobs overseas. We’re doing that as we say to seniors, homebound seniors: “You no longer will have food coming to you in your homes”

The Ryan budget calls for a 5% cut in these programs. 5%!

The left-wing activist group Campaign for America’s Future bemoaned GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s “corrupt” budget plan for catering to “the wealthiest Americans that finance campaigns, the powerful corporate lobbies that have deep pockets for politicians in and out of office.”

Did you know that entitlements — mainly Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — are the primary drivers of these deficits but that Obama has yet to come to the table with a genuine entitlement reform proposal? Or that congressional Democrats, for the first time since 1974, did not pass a budget and all of the current wrangling over continuing resolutions and government shutdowns is a direct result of their dereliction? (Michelle Malkin)

Obama 2006: The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

But here’s some facts for you:

The U.S. Treasury has released a final statement <https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/viewDTSFiles?dir=w&fname=11033100.pdf> for the month of March that demonstrates that financial madness has gripped the federal government.

During the month, according to the Treasury, the federal government grossed $194 billion in tax revenue and paid out $65.898 billion in tax refunds (including $62.011 to individuals and $3.887 to businesses) thus netting $128.179 billion in tax revenue for March.

At the same time, the Treasury paid out a total of $1.1187 trillion. When the $65.898 billion in tax refunds is deducted from that, the Treasury paid a net of $1.0528 trillion in federal expenses for March.

Let’s put that in normal people’s terms (without the zeroes):
The government took in $194.
paid out $65.90.
=128.17
Then the Credit Card bill came in and it was $1,052.

No Problem. We aren’t broke!! 🙂

And Speaker Boehner’s grovelling for a deal any deal is making me sick!

If he caves to the Democrats on piddle-shit like $61 Billion forget the 6.4 Trillion dollar country saving budget cuts in the Ryan Budget.

It’s toast.

And so are we!

Perhaps you’d like an 88 percent tax increase? Perhaps not.

The Democrats’ plan (and the Liberal Media)  will be to make Paul Ryan the most hated man in America, if not the world. The campaign will be — and already is — personal. It will be personal because the facts are not on their side. Our choices are: 1. raise taxes severely, and pretend that that is not going to have catastrophic economic consequences; 2. court a national fiscal crisis on the Portugal/Greece model but on a significantly larger scale, and pretend that that is not going to have catastrophic economic consequences; 3. cut spending. (NRO)

Now that’s an “adult” moment! 🙂

Choose.

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Freeloading America

This was just marvelous watching some elitist get skewered by Sen. Ran Paul over low-flow toilets, mercury-filled light bulbs and free choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAn1FWInBi0&feature=player_embedded

John Stossel: Some Americans actually make a living … begging for money. Professional panhandlers, they’re called, sometimes making more than $100 in a day. I tried it in Manhattan, and made over $11 in one hour—that would be $23,000 a year—tax free!

It’s a small example of why some said that  the USA is turning into a nation of freeloaders. The Manhattan Institute’s Heather MacDonald says that beggars she’s encountered “have the most deep-seated sense of entitlement that I’ve ever come across.”

From those defaulting on their home mortgages, to those who see lawsuits as a lottery ticket, many Americans live off the hard work of others.

Which is why I am a “heartless” right-winger when I ignore them on the streets.

Then there are Million and Billion Dollar Liberals or Government Apparatchiks. Like “Job Creation Czar” Jeffrey Immelt.

General Electric CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt is super-close to President Obama. The president named Immelt chairman of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Before that, Immelt was on Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. He’s a regular companion when Obama travels abroad to hawk American exports.

GE, run by Immelt, just made Billion Dollars in the US, tax free. Why?

They paid no taxes at all!

2010 was the second year in a row that GE recorded billions in profits and paid no taxes.

The company, led by Immelt, earned $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, but it paid not a penny in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefits.

In a statement, General Electric said that it “pays what it owes under the law and is scrupulous about its compliance with tax obligations in all jurisdictions.” The company claims that its zero-dollar tax bill is largely a result of losses at its financial arm, GE Capital, due to the Wall Street meltdown. (ABCNews)

“So for GE, in many ways the environmental movement has turned out to be profitable for our investors,” Immelt said Thursday night at a fundraiser at the College of Charleston. (P&C)

But I guarantee very little ire towards an ally from the Press and the Class Warfare Liberals.

They gamed the system and freeloaded. Just like the begger on the corner.

After all, they are “entitled”.

But the class warfare liberal will rail against “corporate” america and CEO’s and  how evil “rich” people are.

They’ll rail endlessly about Exxon, but not GE.

Exxon is EVIL! 😡

Today, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the president is “bothered” by the idea that a U.S. company could pay no taxes, but he wouldn’t talk about GE specifically. Carney was also quick to say that Immelt’s council advises the president on job growth and not on tax policy.

“It is part of the problem of the corporate tax structure that companies hire, you know, armies of tax lawyers to understand how it works and to take advantage of the various loopholes that exist, that are legal in order to reduce their tax burden,” Carney said.

When President Obama announced his decision to appoint Immelt to the unpaid advisory role on job creation in January, some critics wondered whether the move was appropriate. Under his leadership, GE laid off 21,000 American workers and closed 20 factories between 2007 and 2009. More than half of GE’s workforce is now outside the United States. (ABC News)

Overall, the Times notes, the share of U.S. taxes paid by corporations has fallen from 30 percent of federal revenue in the 1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009. (CBS)

And guess who has to make up for it? 🙂

But he’s a Buds with the Prez ( Lobbyist!), and they will cover for him.

“Over the years, a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries,” he said. “Those with accountants or lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. But all the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. It makes no sense. It has to change.”–President Obama in yet another I said it but I sure as hell never actually meant it or believed it, but damn it sounded good moment last January.

Carney was asked why, if the president wants corporate tax reform, he appointed “to the head of the Competitiveness and Jobs Council a person who is now the poster child for abusing the system to get out of paying taxes.”

“The jobs and competitiveness council is designed for just that,” Carney responded. “And he has brought together a lot of voices on that. And he wants to hear the opinions of every member of that council. And we have said, with regard to questions about other members who have been appointed, that the president obviously doesn’t want a council of people who agree with him on every issue; he wants to hear diversity of opinion.” (CBSNews)

Blah, blah,blah,blah,blah…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Face it. He’s buds with the Prez. They both have a “Green” agenda. Immelt’s is just greenbacks!

The Prez gives Billions for Brazil to drill for oil to benefit Billionaire Socialist George Soros but has a virtual moratorium in this country.

George Soros is likely the #1 Democrat $$$ contributor.

Money Leads to Power and more Power leads to More Money.

Just look at the Public Sector Unions!

Illegal Immigrants!

But don’t worry, THEY ARE ENTITLED. 🙂

Everyone is entitled (except “racist” white male Europeans that is).

It’s just matter of much entitlement you feel and how much you can grab. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Charlie Sheen Economics

Political Cartoon

Hollywood Actor Charlie Sheen was rushed to the hospital yet again after yet another drugs,sex, and booze binge.

Kinda sounds like the folks in Washington D.C. to me.

And to an extent the American people, who have been trained by Washington D.C. to live the high life and expect dependency.

So you have wild, crazed spending binges likes the last 10 years really. Both Obama and Bush 41. Both Republicans and Democrats. It’s just that the Democrats have partied heartier and faster than the Republicans did.

Much higher debt in a much shorter time frame.

The “suitcase full of drugs” was spending. Spending to advance one’s ideology, but most spending to pay off dependents, make more dependents and to buy votes for their re-election so they can do it all over again.

That’s where the Prostitutes come in.

Unions, Lobbyists, and the “advocates”.

But the Congress Men and Women are also Prostitutes for the money

The Money leads to the power and the power is the real drug of choice in Washington.

Just look at Deposed but still defiant Queen Pelosi and Prince Harry Reid.

Harry Reid’s defiant thumb in the eye about earmarks, another drug of choice for buying off the American people, where he will continue doing them because that’s how he got elected in the first place.

Dance with the Whore that got you to the party and then “Party on Dude”.

The Porn: That it has no consequences  so you can just watch it continue and view it from a far and that we can’t change it now and any who dares is just a “racist” “extremist” “teabagger”.

Then there are the American people, who are the co-dependents (and in the case of ObamaCare the forced dependents) in this equation. (of which now Over 700 waivers have been granted, more on this in another blog)

41% of people in a recent Rasmussen poll said it was Ok to spend even more on Education and Infrastructure even after all this. Denial is strong with these folks.

We have spend enough. The good times have rolled by. Get over it.

They have come to expect over the last couple of generations that the government will in fact take care of them when they get old and retire so no need to plan ahead, let’s just party like it’s the Summer of ’69.

And every time some tries to inject some sanity into the proceedings they are crucified by the addicts in Washington and the dependents in the heartlands.

But the party is going to end, whether anyone likes it or not.

There will be an intervention and pain now, or there will be massive and prolonged pain later.

As the old Fram air filter commercials of my youth would say, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later”.

It’s time to pay for the Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll.

And whether you like it or not is IRRELEVANT.

Thing of it this way. You got a credit card. You maxed it out so you got another credit card and you maxed it out and another and another.

Now all you can do is pay the minimums because you have so much debt that you can’t see anything else.

That’s where the US is right now.

To put $14 trillion in perspective, our national debt is larger than the total economies of China, the United Kingdom, and Australia combined.

If our Debt was rank as “an economy” it would be #30 in the world of nearly 300 nations!!

Just how far in debt are we? Find out below.

Current debt: 14,059,409,159,678.42

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

So do you think politically safe nibbles around the edges (Republicans) or Politically slick slogans (Democrats and their “freezes”) will staunch this bleeding?

Or are HARD, politically unpopular choices needed. By both the Political Class, their Drug Dealers, Pimps, Whores, and Prostitutes and the the American people.

Denial is not an option anymore. The Credit cards are maxed out.

The Party is over.

The Hangover and DT’s are going to be pain like you never knew.

But the alternative is that Charlie Sheen and the Charlie Sheen economics becomes Anna Nicole Smith or River Phoenix.

Personally, I want to live!

How about you?

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Incestuous Narcissism Part 1

For about 15 years if someone asked me to sum up my philosophy about the people I ranted about I would say “Unenlightened Narcissism” but now I have revised that.

It’s now “Incestuous Narcissism”. Where both parties are consensual in the narcissism and incestuous need for the other, to the exclusion of “the extremists” who don’t buy into their relationship or try to break it up.

Intervention in their incest is not best. It is to be fought to the bitter end.

Part I: Unions

Unions, especially public sector unions, are the perfect example of this relationship.

As a matter of disclosure I have never like Unions, ever. I grew up in a “union town” but was never in a union.

I used to watch them play their games with GM, this being the UAW- United Auto Workers.

They would go on strike because $28/hr in 1975 was too little. And then GM would fire them and then re-hire them. It was  game.

But now, it’s just incest.

The recent booze and pot mess at a Chrysler plant is merely the tip of iceberg. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVmKyJXHXRE)

What you have is simple. (This is a California graphic, but it applies nationally)

Taxpayer gives money to Government, Government gives money to Union and then gives money back to Government Officials in the form of political and lobbyist contributions.
It’s an incestuous circle.
And when they need more money the government simply borrows more money from China or it takes it from you.
The GM bailout was not about GM, the company. It was about The UAW, which now has bigger stake (and thus more power) in the company and will be even harder to discipline.
The 15 workers identified in the video were suspended by Chrysler, but the Union is saying nothing.
The $30 Billion bailout that Congress had to interrupt their summer vacation for was for government teachers unions, nothing else.

Albany Police Officers Union President Chris Mesley says that, regardless of the faltering economy, a no-raise new contract is unacceptable.

And to hell with the public.

“I’m not running a popularity contest here,” Mesley said. “If I’m the bad guy to the average citizen . . . and their taxes have go up to cover my raise, I’m very sorry about that, but I have to look out for myself and my membership.”

Mesley added: “As the president of the local, I will not accept ‘zeroes.’ If that means . . . ticking off some taxpayers, then so be it.”

Here are some of the facts;

Public pensions have unfunded liability of $1 trillion to $3.5 trillion

Federal workers take home twice pay and benefits as private workers. Local and state workers also make more.

Total          Pay           Benefits

Private                 $59,909      $50,028         $9,881

Local/state        $67,812      $52,051        $15,761

Federal               $119,982     $79,197        $40,785

— Average TWU (NY Transit Workers) union worker makes $60K without overtime or benefits.

— 25% took 15 or more sick days.  Average was 8 sick days.

— Fox average 3 sick days (same for men and women)

— No FOX employee took 15 days

Relative Danger of Jobs (Deaths per 100,000 workers)

— Fishing      128.9

–Logging     115.7

–Iron workers  46.4

–Farmers       39.5

–Firemen   3.8

–Transit workers 1.4

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, except Transit worker death, that is from interview with TWU Local100 President)

Some people argue that there’s no alternative to the government monopoly on municipal work, but Sandy Springs, Georgia, privatized most of it’s jobs in 2005.  Now the city pays about ½ of what it used to pay.  It enjoys a $14 million surplus, in addition to funding a $20 million reserve. (John Stossel)

And the Union bosses defense: They have a dirty job. People Spit on them! Boo Hoo! Women get Pregnant! (really, he said it repeatedly).

Though Statistics show that the deadliest profession is Deep Water Fishing (aka Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”).

But you don’t seem getting these kinds of perks. They aren’t pimping or whoring for the government and vice versa like Union are.

That mean nothing to our Union Narcissist. He doesn’t care about fishing. It’s all about him and his own.

He’s entitled to retire at 50 with a pension you will never even dream of.

Compensation A. State and Local B. Private Sector Ratio A/B
Total Compensation $39.66 $27.42 1.45
Wages and salaries $26.01 $19.39 1.34
Benefits $13.65 $8.02 1.7
Paid Leave $3.27 $1.85 1.77
Supplemental Pay $0.34 $0.83 0.41
Health insurance $4.34 $1.99 2.18
Defined benefit pension $2.85 $0.41 6.95
Defined contribution pension $0.31 $0.53 0.58
Other benefits $2.53 $2.40 1.05

(redstate.com)

http://www.foxnewsinsider.com/2010/09/24/john-stossel-hosts-the-battle-for-the-future/

Whole Program  John Stossel “Battle for the Future”  in Six parts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7PGbZSs4xM

Then there’s The NEA, the National Teachers Association, a government union.

They are also incestuous.

John Stossel again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXFVeATlCDo

Like the fact that, despite pouring ever more money into the schools these past 40 years, America has fallen behind dozens of industrialized countries in math and science.

And the fact that every day in this country, 7,000 kids drop out of high school.

And that at this rate, by the year 2020, there will be 123 million American jobs for highly skilled and highly paid workers, but only 50 million Americans will be qualified to fill them.

Because of their political sway, teachers, no matter how good, are almost never rewarded. And no matter how bad, they are almost never fired. Contract rules in New York City even keep unwanted teachers on the payroll for unlimited amounts of time when they’re not in the classroom at all.

Isn’t the NEA’s only recourse to say they need more money?

According to NEA-NH Insider the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (The Stimulus)…

…represents a huge win for education thanks to unprecedented funding increases targeted to local districts.  ARRA also included increases for Title I, stabilization funding, and school construction bonds. This adds up. The US Dept. of Education saw funding increase $159.4 billion – an increase of 169%.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has saved approximately 325,000 education related jobs nationwide. Dr. Christina Romer, head of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), stated that state stabilization funding to states has been “one of the triumphs” and has had “more bite than we would have thought.” Dr. Romer’s observation affirms the economic value to the nation of what was one of NEA’s major priorities in the stimulus package, and reinforces our argument in favor of continuing such aid through an Education Jobs Fund.

That’s “saved or created” for you… 🙂

And given the Incestuous circle of Taypayer-Government-Union-Lobbyist Contribution is it any wonder that pouring more money down this rathole isn’t working? 😦

The National Education Association, the larger of the two national teachers unions, considered spending $3.5 million to create an ad campaign to counter “the media propaganda of this summer’s series of anti-teacher union documentaries,” according to an agenda from its July meeting.

In the end, union officials decided it wasn’t worth it, said John Wilson, executive director.

“I think the films are a blip. They will come and go, but the union will still be there, our members will still be in these schools,” he said. “We don’t see any advantage of going to war with documentarians.” (Sacramento Bee)

Well, when you’re f*cking the boss (aka government) and creating the next generation of people who will view themselves as entitled to the fruits of others and that government must save them from themselves it’s Orwellian incestual indoctrination at it’s best.

Is it any wonder that the Democrats #1 base supporters are their own whores, The Unions, and that they care more about them than you.

And if you want to intervene in their mutual incest-fest you’re an “extremist”, a “kook” a “loon” and have to be stomped on.

Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

  • Believing that you’re better than others
  • Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
  • Exaggerating your achievements or talents
  • Expecting constant praise and admiration
  • Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly
  • Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
  • Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
  • Taking advantage of others
  • Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
  • Being jealous of others
  • Believing that others are jealous of you
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships
  • Setting unrealistic goals
  • Being easily hurt and rejected
  • Having a fragile self-esteem
  • Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it’s not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don’t value themselves more than they value others.

When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don’t receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. You may insist on having “the best” of everything — the best car, athletic club, medical care or social circles, for instance.

But underneath all this behavior often lies a fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better. (Mayo Clinic)

Tell Me that doesn’t sound like your garden variety Liberal?

Go on…I dare you…

Part 2: The People and Unemployment



Transparent Steal

No that title was not meant to say “steel”.

I have maintained all along that Obama is very transparent, in his radical socialist ways and the Ministry of Truth is very transparent. If you’re willing to look at it from the jaundiced eye of a cynic.

But the illusion of transparency at least is no more. But it will be transparent that the media won’t talk about it. So I will, along with sources.

President Obama has abolished the position in his White House dedicated to transparency and shunted those duties into the portfolio of a partisan ex-lobbyist who is openly antagonistic to the notion of disclosure by government and politicians.

Obama transferred “ethics czar” Norm Eisen to the Czech Republic to serve as U.S. ambassador. Some of Eisen’s duties will be handed to Domestic Policy Council member Steven Croley, but most of them, it appears, will shift over to the already-full docket of White House Counsel Bob Bauer ( his previous job as the president’s personal lawyer, as well as counsel to the Democratic National Committee).

With Mr. Eisen headed to Europe as an ambassador, his move from the White House “is the biggest lobbying success we’ve had all year,” Tony Podesta, one of the most influential lobbyists in Washington, said with a laugh.(NYT)

Bauer is renowned as a “lawyer’s lawyer” and a legal expert. His resume, however, reads more “partisan advocate” than “good-government crusader.” Bauer came to the White House from the law firm Perkins Coie, where he represented John Kerry in 2004 and Obama during his campaign.

Bauer has served as the top lawyer for the Democratic National Committee, which is the most prolific fundraising entity in the country. Then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., the caricature of a cutthroat Chicago political fixer, hired Bauer to represent the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In the White House, Bauer is tight with Emanuel, having defended Emanuel’s offer of a job to Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., whom Emanuel wanted out of the Senate race.

Another Bauer client was New Jersey Sen. Robert “Torch” Torricelli back in 2001. When one Torricelli donor admitted he had reimbursed employees for their contributions to the Torch — thus circumventing contribution limits — Bauer explained, “All candidates ask their supporters to help raise money from friends, family members and professional associates.”

Bauer’s own words — gathered by the diligent folks at the Sunlight Foundation — show disdain for openness and far greater belief in the good intentions of those in power than of those trying to check the powerful. In December 2006, when the Federal Election Commission proposed more precise disclosure requirements for parties, Bauer took aim at the practice of muckraking enabled by such disclosure.

On his blog, Bauer derided the notion “that politicians and parties are pictured as forever trying to get away with something,” saying this was an idea for which “there is a market, its product cheaply manufactured and cheaply sold.” In other words — we keep too close an eye on our leaders.

In August 2006 Bauer blogged, “disclosure is a mostly unquestioned virtue deserving to be questioned.” This is the man the White House has put in charge of making this the most open White House ever.

Most telling might have been Bauer’s statements about proposed regulations of 527 organizations: “If it’s not done with 527 activity as we have seen, it will be done in other ways,” he told the Senate rules committee.

“There are other directions, to be sure, that people are actively considering as we speak. Without tipping my hand or those of others who are professionally creative, the money will find an outlet.”

This perfectly captures the Obama White House’s attitude toward disclosure. Sure, the administration publish the names of all White House visitors, but, as the New York Times reported a few weeks back, White House folks just meet their lobbyists at Caribou Coffee across the street. Sure, they restrict the work of ex-lobbyists in the administration, but lobbyists who de-list aren’t questioned.

And we’ve seen just a few of the e-mails former Google lobbyist, now Obama tech policy guru, Andrew McLaughlin traded with current Google lobbyists using his Gmail account, but who knows what else the White House whiz kids are doing to avoid the Presidential Records Act — Facebook messages? Twitter direct messages?

Did I mention Bauer was a lobbyist? At Perkins Coie, Bauer lobbied on behalf of America Votes Inc., a Democratic 527 funded by the likes of the AFL-CIO and ACORN.

As with his other reformer rhetoric, Obama’s transparency is mostly smoke and mirrors. (Washington Examiner)

I would argue he is very transparent in his disdain for anyone who isn’t the Harvard elitist liberal socialist that and his apparatchiks are. He’s so open about it that it’s nearly invisible. 🙂

And he gets all the help he needs from his socialist friends in the media.

When the open-government activist group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued the Bush administration to get the records of White House visitors from Secret Service logs, media outlets practically fell over themselves to join the effort.  Newspapers like the Washington Post and USA Today and wire services like AP and Reuters filed amicus briefs with the court, and the Obama administration eventually agreed to start releasing the records.  Now, however, the same news organizations have discovered a new sense of privacy when it comes to their attendance in an off-the-record event with Barack Obama:

White House reporters are keeping quiet about an off-the-record lunch today with President Obama — even those at news organizations who’ve advocated in the past for the White House to release the names of visitors.

And guess who filed briefs supporting that argument? Virtually every newspaper that covers the White House.

Through July 20, Ms. Kumar counted 36 press conferences since Mr. Obama took office. That compares with the same number for the second President Bush, 66 for President Clinton and 54 for the elder President Bush the same amount of time into their presidencies.

But that leaves out some context.  Obama was holding press conferences every week or two in his first months in office, which is why he got to 35 by the end of July 2009, when it became clear that Obama was a gaffe machine when off of the Teleprompter.  Since then, he’s held a grand total of one, and it doesn’t look like the White House has any more planned after the late May Gulf spill presser.

When media outlets participate in off-the-record events, they give Obama a chance to spin coverage without doing so on the record.  It wouldn’t be a problem if Obama made himself regularly available in an open Q&A setting to the press corps, which complained when Obama’s predecessor would go a couple of months between pressers.  With the White House butting up Obama and keeping him off the record, participation in the luncheon is really just enabling the silence.  If media outlets felt so strongly about transparency as to demand the White House visitor logs, the least they can do is to acknowledge their own roles in letting this President off the hook for accountability and transparency. (hot air.com)

Just reinforces the fact that he is not a public servant, he is a public parent. This is the mommy-state way of saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” (comment on hot air.com).

Well, they are the Insufferably Superior Left,after all. And remember if you agree with them you are intelligent, tolerant and well mannered.

If you disagree with them you are barking mad loonie who foams at the mouth and has the IQ of a dead light bulb. You’re “stupid”, “racist”,”ignorant” a “moron”, etc. ad nauseum.

So why should anyone take a raving loonie seriously? 🙂

In fact, according to a March 2010 Associated Press analysis of FOIA responses at 17 major agencies, 466,872 FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) denials were issued during the Obama administration’s first year in office – a 50 percent increase over the previous year.

In addition to denying more FOIA requests, Obama has refused to call for an audit of the secret Federal Reserve Bank and rescinded Bush-era disclosure requirements for labor union leaders –† the same union bosses who provided over $100 million (and nearly half a million volunteers) for Obama and Democratic Congressional candidates in 2008.

The hypocrisy on transparency doesn’t end there, though.

As part of the draconian new financial regulations Obama and his Congressional allies are imposing on the private sector, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is now virtually exempt from FOIA law.† Under a little-known provision of the new law, the SEC would not have to release any information derived from “surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities” – a purposefully broad definition that encompasses virtually everything the SEC does.

You know the SEC, the ones who were too busy wanting porn 24/7 to watch either Wall Street or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to care. And now, by law they don’t have to care. More Porn for the SEC, please….

“It allows the SEC to block the public’s access to virtually all SEC records,” former agency attorney turned whistleblower Gary Aguirre told FOX News. “It permits the SEC to promulgate its own rules and regulations regarding the disclosure of records without getting the approval of the Office of Management and Budget, which typically applies to all federal agencies.”

In fact, within days of the new law being signed, the SEC was already turning down FOIA requests from media outlets citing the new exemption.

But don’t worry, Big Brother will not lie to you… 🙂

The Ministry of Truth is involved with news media, entertainment, the fine arts and educational books. Its purpose is to rewrite history and change the facts to fit Party doctrine for propaganda effect. For example, if Big Brother makes a prediction that turns out to be wrong, the employees of the Ministry of Truth go back and rewrite the prediction so that any prediction Big Brother previously made is accurate. This is the “how” of the Ministry of Truth’s existence. Within the novel Orwell elaborates that the deeper reason for its existence is to maintain the illusion that the Party is absolute. It cannot ever seem to change its mind (if, for instance, they perform one of their constant changes regarding enemies during war) or make a mistake (firing an official or making a grossly misjudged supply prediction), for that would imply weakness and to maintain power the Party must seem eternally right and strong. (1984)

It’s transparent in it’s complete lack of transparency or even it’s appearance therein. 🙂

doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting as correct two mutually contradictory beliefs.

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself — that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink..    ”
“     The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words or constructions.–George Orwell

The basic idea behind Newspeak is to remove all shades of meaning from language, leaving simple dichotomies (pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, goodthink and crimethink) which reinforce the total dominance of the State.

How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness. (1984)

The phrase “two plus two equals five” (“2 + 2 = 5“) is a slogan used in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four as an example of an obviously false dogma one must believe, similar to other obviously false slogans by the Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is contrasted with the phrase “two plus two makes four”, the obvious – but politically inexpedient – truth. Orwell’s protagonist, Winston Smith, uses the phrase to wonder if the State might declare “two plus two equals five” as a fact; he ponders whether, if everybody believes in it, does that make it true? Smith writes, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

Now that’s transparent and on MSNBC,CBS,NBC,ABC,CNN,Their websites, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, et al. that 2+2=5. Now you just have to believe it. 🙂

It’s so transparent it’s nearly invisible. 🙂

Adams vs Freud

Before we get to today’s blog. I thought I would share this nugget of wisdom from the Far Left.

And they don’t get too much farther left than MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann.

Last Night he said  that when white men call Obama “flippant” or “arrogant,” that is a racist code word.

Isn’t that fascinating…. 😦

Now on with the Show…

“If anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Let me know. Let me know. I’m eager to see it.” — President Obama in the State of the Union Speech.

Gee, didn’t we hear this last year and then Democrats shut down and shut out the Republicans completely?

Even Obama said at a picnic for the AFL-CIO that they had “no ideas”.

Yet every time they were presented them they were shot down with extreme prejudice.

So is this the sequel?

I think the Republican should charge forward and say, “here they are” so the Democrats can nuke them again.

Just to show The People just how uninterested the Democrats really are in anything anyone says to them.

Ideas Like Portability (buying insurance across state lines) and Tort Reform.

But since Tort Reform means the Democrats would have to piss off their lobbyist buddies in the Trial Lawyers that’s not happening.

So Republicans should push it.

That should make the Democrats squirm.

George Will:

Barack Obama tiptoed Wednesday night along the seam that bifurcates the Democratic Party’s brain. The seam separates that brain’s John Quincy Adams lobe from its Sigmund Freud lobe.

The dominant liberal lobe favors Adams’ dictum that politicians should not be “palsied by the will of our constituents.” It exhorts Democrats to smack Americans with what is good for them — health care reform, carbon rationing, etc. — even if the dimwits do not desire it.

The other lobe whispers Freud’s reality principle: Restrain your id — the pleasure principle and the impulse toward immediate gratification. Settle for deferred and diminished but achievable results.

Obama was mostly in Adams’ mode Wednesday. His nods to reality were, however, notable.

Such speeches must be listened to with a third ear that hears what is not said.

Unmentioned was organized labor’s “card check” legislation to abolish workers’ rights to secret ballots in unionization elections. Obama’s perfunctory request for a “climate bill” — the term “cap-and-trade” was as absent as the noun “Guantanamo” — was not commensurate with his certitude that life on Earth may drown in rising seas.

Last Feb. 24, when unemployment was 8.2%, Obama said in the second sentence of his speech to Congress that the economy “is a concern that rises above all others” and later that his agenda “begins with jobs.” After 11 months of health care monomania, he said Wednesday that “jobs must be our No. 1 focus.” Unemployment is 10%.

He called Wednesday for a third stimulus (the first was his predecessor’s, in February 2008) although the S-word has been banished in favor of “jobs bill.” It will inject into the economy money that government siphons from the economy, thereby somehow creating jobs. And you thought alchemy was strange.

Not until the 33rd minute of Wednesday’s 70-minute address did Obama mention health care. The weirdness of what he said made it worth the wait.

Dim Americans

Acknowledging that the longer the public has looked at the legislation the less the public has liked it, he blamed himself for not “explaining it more clearly.” But his faux contrition actually blames the public: The problem is not the legislation’s substance but the presentation of it to slow learners.

He urged them to take “another look at the plan we’ve proposed.” The plan? The differences between the House and Senate plans are not trivial; they concern how to pay for the enormous new entitlement.

Last Feb. 24, with a grandiosity with which the nation has become wearily familiar, he said, “Already, we have done more to advance the cause of health care reform in the last 30 days than we have in the last decade.”

He was referring to the expansion of eligibility to an existing entitlement — the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. But that expansion was minor compared with the enormous new Medicare entitlement for prescription drugs created under Obama’s predecessor. Before the Massachusetts nuisance, this year’s speech was to be a self-coronation of the “last” president to deal with health care.

Last Feb. 24, he said he had an activist agenda because of the recession, “not because I believe in bigger government — I don’t.” Ninety-seven days later, he bought General Motors.

Truth Deficit

Wednesday night’s debut of Obama as avenging angel of populism featured one of those opaque phrases — the “weight of our politics” — that third-rate speechwriters slip past drowsy editors. Obama seems to regret the existence in Washington of … everyone else.

He seems to feel entitled to have his way without tiresome interventions in the political process by the many interests affected by his agenda for radical expansion of the regulatory state. Speaking of slow learners, liberals do not notice the connection between expansion of government and expansion of (often defensive) activities referred to under the rubric of “lobbying.”

Lamenting Washington’s “deficit of trust,” Obama gave an example of the reason for it when he brassily declared: “We are prepared to freeze government spending for three years.” This flagrant falsehood enlarges Washington’s deficit of truth: He proposes freezing some discretionary spending — about one-eighth of government spending.

Obama’s leitmotif is: Washington is disappointing, Washington is annoying, Washington is dysfunctional, Washington is corrupt, verily it is toxic — yet Washington should conscript a substantially larger share of GDP, and Washington should exercise vast new controls over health care, energy, K-12 education, etc. Talk about a divided brain.

****

Obama: “I know there are many Americans who aren’t sure if they still believe we can change — or that I can deliver it.”

It’s the Change you want to bring that scares the crap out me, Mr. President!!

It’s the economy, stupid!

Not your pet liberal fantasies.

But I don’t think they want to hear that. 🙂